Maintaining Oral Health with Braces: Tips and Best Practices
Posted on June 30, 2023
Braces are a common treatment option to improve oral health and correct misaligned teeth, with roughly 4 million Americans currently wearing braces, according to the American Association of Orthodontists. However, taking proper care of your teeth while wearing braces is critical to ensure you have the best results possible. These tips from an orthodontist will help you have a beautiful smile, and prevent problems with your braces.
This standard practice involves using floss to get around the braces and behind rubber bands to remove food particles. With or without braces, you should be flossing at least twice a day. If you’re a parent that is unsure whether your child will put this much effort into caring for their teeth, consider looking for “Invisalign near me” as an alternative option.
When you have braces, you’ll need to brush more often than you would without them. We recommend brushing five times daily. Brush once in the morning, at night, and after every meal to ensure that food particles don’t get stuck in your braces. This can also prevent plaque build-up and cavities.
Brushing in a circular motion is helpful when not wearing braces, but you’ll need to take extra steps once you have them. Brushing the gums in a circular motion is still a great way to remove plaque and food. When brushing your teeth, you’ll need to use an angled motion above and below the braces to reach behind them and around them properly.
Avoid Certain Foods
Braces can come loose or break. Eating specific foods makes this more likely to happen. For example, you should avoid sticky foods like caramel, taffy, and gum. Foods that tend to be hard, such as raw carrots, should be cut into small pieces. Avoid chewing ice, corn on the cob, and popcorn until your braces are off.
Mouthwash offers additional protection for teeth. For example, acid from fruits and other foods can sit on the teeth, slowly removing tooth enamel that will make you more likely to get cavities. This is because the plastic retainers trap acid on the teeth. People with braces or clear alignment trays should use mouthwash after every meal.
Taking care of braces can be challenging, but it’s well worth the extra effort. Most patients get used to a new routine within a few days. However, parents that are concerned about the appearance of braces or oral health can search for “Invisalign near me” and visit our office for an alternative option. Contact us today for more information!