How to Care for Braces
Keeping your teeth and gums clean becomes even more important when you get braces. When you get your braces we will thoroughly review how to clean your braces and teeth.
Follow these oral hygiene guidelines to prevent plaque buildup throughout treatment:
Be sure to brush in the morning, after every meal and once before you go to sleep!
Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. We recommend brushing without toothpaste at first and then applying a fluoride toothpaste and brush for another two minutes.
Angle the toothbrush and brush in small circles to clean food from around your braces. Take your time. Brush every angle of every tooth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue!
You can also use a small Proxybrush to help clean between your teeth as it can easily maneuver around the wires and between the braces.
Use floss to remove food and particles that get stuck in between your teeth. We will provide a sample of special floss or threaders that are used for braces. These allow you to get floss beneath your wires and easily between your braces.
Your dentist may recommend a fluoride rinse. A fluoride rinse may be used as extra protection against decay, bad breath and germs. We will be happy to recommend one if needed.
You should try to avoid eating hard, sticky foods to keep from damaging your braces. For the first week, eat soft foods until any discomfort dissipates.
Types of Foods and Habits to Avoid:
- STICKY/CHEWY FOODS: Gum, taffy, starburst, skittles, airheads, and caramels can pull your braces off.
- HARD/CRUNCHY FOODS: Popcorn, nuts, ice, hard candy, chips, and taco shells can break your braces.
- CHEWING ON HARD OBJECTS: Biting on pencils, pens, or fingernails can also damage your braces.
- TAKE EXTRA CARE WITH: Apples, carrots, pizza crust, and bagels. Always cut into bite-sized pieces.