How to Care For and Maintain Your Braces

The proper care and maintenance of your braces will reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum infection and ensure that the braces do what they are supposed to do – provide patients with straighter, healthier, stronger, and more beautiful teeth. Caring for dental braces should be part of a daily routine as long as you wear them. Knowing the right way to care for them can help you receive the maximum benefit from your braces without extra hassles or costs.


Foods To Avoid

When you get braces, you will be given instructions on how to care for them, which will include certain foods to avoid. It is very important to heed this advice. Hard and sticky foods are on the do-not eat list!  Hard candy, rice crispy treats, beef jerky, corn on the cob, candy bars, bubble gum, hard pizza crust, and nuts are just a few of the foods that should be eliminated from your diet. One of the best ways to remind yourself is to create a list of all the foods to avoid and post them on your refrigerator.

Loose or Broken Braces

What should you do if you braces become loose or if one of the pieces breaks? You should see your orthodontist immediately. Loose or broken braces will not only be less effective, they can also cause minor injuries or irritation to the patient’s mouth. Your orthodontist will adjust or replace the braces as needed to ensure they are working properly to straighten your teeth and beautify your smile.

The Right Cleaning Instruments

With braces, you need more than you regular toothbrush and dental floss. Because food can easily get trapped between the brackets and wires, a proxabrush, an interdental brush, and oral irrigators are also needed to maintain the health of your teeth while wearing braces. These tools can reach food particles trapped between the arch wire and brackets and brush between the braces. It is recommended to brush and clean after each meal, or at the very least, twice per day. Though these extra cleaning tools help keep your teeth clean while wearing braces, it is still important to use your regular toothbrush and dental floss, though in a more gentle manner. 

After braces are removed, patients receive a retainer which helps to keep the teeth from moving back to their original positions. Retainers should be removed when eating and should also be cleaned every night before you go to bed. It is crucial to take extra care when wearing braces or a retainer. Successful results depend on the proper care and maintenance of your orthodontic appliances. A little extra effort and time is required, but it will all be worth it when you see that beautiful smile! 

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