How to Take Care of Your Braces
Congratulations on getting your braces! Getting used to life with braces can be a new experience for most. Learning to take care of your braces is essential in maintaining oral hygiene, relieving discomfort, and preventing your orthodontic appliances from staining. Watch this video to learn all of the steps when taking care of your braces!
Brushing with Braces
Good oral hygiene is extremely important during orthodontic treatment. If you brush and floss regularly, you will make sure that by the end of the treatment, your teeth and gums will be in the best shape, and your smile will not only look straight and beautiful, but healthy at the same time.
When you brush, it is best to use fluoride toothpaste and a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush, which is in good condition.
You need to brush around the braces and every surface of your teeth – tops of the brackets, under the brackets, flat against the brackets, all chewing surfaces, backs of the teeth, your gums, and your tongue.
Inspect your teeth to make sure they are spotlessly clean and also check for loose or broken brackets. If there’s a problem, call our orthodontic office for recommendations and schedule an appointment if needed.
Flossing with Braces
The best time to floss is before going to bed because you won’t feel pressed for time. When you floss with braces, you might need a floss threader. It is a reusable tool that helps you to get the floss underneath your archwire without difficulty.
When flossing, make sure you clean thoroughly along and under the gum line. The process might seem laborious, but it is extremely important to keep your teeth and gums in top condition.
During orthodontic treatment you will get your braces “tightened” or “adjusted” every 6-8 weeks. After an adjustment appointment, you might experience discomfort for a few days to about a week. Take some pain reliever, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, (i.e., Advil or Tylenol) to help you deal with the discomfort.
You may need to eat only soft or liquid foods for a few days. Protein shakes, such as the Atkins or Slim Fast shakes, make ideal meal replacements if chewing even soft food is uncomfortable. Harder foods should be cut into small pieces and chewed carefully and slowly. To get more protein into your diet, try adding protein powder or tofu to some of your meals or drinks.
Within a week of getting braces adjusted, most people an usually eat normal food again. After a few months with braces, adjustments won’t hurt as much.
Foods to Avoid
In addition to these tips and tricks, you must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy, and crunchy foods. Also, you should be wary of chewing on hard objects like pens, pencils, and fingernails.
Chewing ice is off limits. It’s not a good idea to chew ice even without braces!
Braces in Social Settings
Lastly, a lot of orthodontic patients are concerned about the potential difficulties attracting and dating other people. In reality, with dating, there’s little to do with what’s in your mouth, and a lot to do with your self-confidence and your willingness to work just a little harder to win over the person you want.
You are spending major bucks to get your teeth straightened. When you are done, your teeth will look great. What about the rest of you? Use this time as an opportunity to improve other things about yourself, especially if you weren’t a dating champion before the braces went on. Think of this as your “transformation time.”
Here’s the main idea: if you look better, you’ll feel better; if you feel better, you’ll be more confident.
* This information contained on this website is for the purposes of learning more about the different treatment options.