Taking good care of your teeth is crucial to good oral and overall health, but it is even more important for people who wearing braces. Food can not only get caught between your teeth, it can also get caught in the small spaces created by braces. This can cause plaque to build up even faster and result in more tooth decay. Your normal oral hygiene routine is not enough when you are wearing braces. You have to take extra precautions and increase your oral hygiene care while you are wearing orthodontics.
These “Shoulds” and “Should Nots” will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy while wearing braces, and also maximize the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment:
- • Brush your teeth more often when you have braces – after every meal or snack.
- • Ask your orthodontist for special tools that can help you reach difficult spots. You will be able to clean around wires and braces and reach those tiny spots that are often missed.
- • Continue to use floss and be even more vigilant. It can be difficult to floss with braces, but the extra effort definitely yields results.
- • Use mouthwash as part of your everyday oral care.
- • Make sure to use the dental wax provided by your orthodontist. It helps protect your lips and cheeks from injury or pain.
- • Cut your food, even soft food, in to small pieces and make sure to chew carefully.
- • Keep every appointment your orthodontist makes. They schedule them for a reason and missing them is not good for your oral hygiene.
- • Don’t eat hard food like hard candy, carrots, celery, popcorn, hard pretzels, chips, corn on the cob, or meat off the bone.
- • Don’t eat sticky foods like gum or sticky candies.
- • Stay away from sodas, surgery drinks, and surgery snacks.
- • If a wire or bracket breaks, don’t try to repair it yourself. Call your orthodontist and have the expert fix it.
- • Don’t complain about your braces, especially if your parents are paying for them! They will give you a one-in-a-million smile.
Following these lists of what to do and what not to do when wearing braces will ensure you have a positive experience with your orthodontics. More and more adults are wearing braces because they want to improve their smile and their confidence. Braces have come a long way in the last thirty years – they cause less pain and are easier to adjust. But, you have to take care of them and increase your level of oral care with orthodontics. Getting the most our of your braces means putting in some extra effort to care for your teeth while wearing them!