Straightening your teeth brings the promise of a better smile, but do you know how to care for your teeth while you’re wearing braces? Because metal braces are bonded to the teeth it is more difficult to effectively clean your teeth. The enamel can decay around the braces, causing white spots or stains. Don’t trade one dental benefit for other dental problems. Learn how to care for your oral health while wearing braces.
Brushing and Flossing Are Critical
While wearing braces, special efforts to keep your teeth clean is required. Bacteria that cause plaque are easily trapped in and around the brackets creating an environment where food particles can remain in your mouth. Allowing food particles to remain in your mouth is likely to promote tooth decay over time, and cavities may be the end result.
Follow these procedures to make daily brushing and flossing effective:
- Prepare to brush. Take off rubber bands and any other removable parts of your orthodontia.
- Clean your braces. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the wires and pins of your braces. Brush from the top of each wire down to the bottom. It takes time to ensure that all plaque and debris is removed, so make sure you work all the way around upper and lower teeth.
- Brush your teeth. Clean each tooth individually. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle on the gum line, then apply gentle pressure as you move in a circular motion. Do this for about 10 seconds. Use the same brushing action on all outer and inner tooth surfaces, tilting the brush as needed to better reach the insides of smaller front teeth.
- Floss at least once a day. If you have questions about how to properly do this, Dr. Angela S. Evanson, DDS can teach you the best way to floss. You may also want to use a flossing product designed for braces and orthodontic work, like a floss threader.
- Use a water flosser. A water flosser is effective in removing plaque in addition to improving your gum health. Rinse thoroughly with mouthwash, and examine your teeth and braces in the mirror. Mouthwash prevents plaque regrowth and will protect your teeth all day and night.
Foods That Can Damage Braces
It’s important to avoid foods that can increase your risk for cavities or damage your braces. Cut down on sweets, chips and soda along with sugary and starchy foods that generate plaque acid and that causes tooth decay and promotes gum disease. Specific foods can also cause wire damage and loosen brackets, and although they can be repaired, why go to the extra expense and prolonged treatment time?
Avoid the following:
- Crusty or chewy bread, including bagels and pizza crust (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- Nuts, seeds, popcorn and chips
- Ice, your fingernails, or chewing on a pencil
- Beef jerky
- Chewy and hard candy
- Corn on the cob (cut it off the cob)
- Apples, carrots or crunchy vegetables (cut into bite-sized pieces)
Maintain Regular Dental Appointments
Even though you see your orthodontist regularly, don’t skip your routine dental checkups with Dr. Evanson. Braces can make you more prone to plaque and tartar accumulation, so your cleanings are actually more important now than ever. Contact Dr. Evanson online or call 720-409-0008 to make an appointment.
As a General and Family Dentist, Dr. Evanson treats patients of all ages in the communities of Parker, Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree.
The few minutes it takes every day to care for your teeth while wearing braces will pay off in the end when your teeth are straightened and healthy!Leave a reply →