Now that you’ve started the journey to improving your smile, your bite, and the health of your teeth with braces, you should know how to take good care of them. Good dental hygiene is always important, but it’s especially important with braces, since they can be a little tricky to keep clean.
And if you damage your braces or appliance, you may have to be in treatment longer than originally expected. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear and care for your braces and appliances, as directed by your orthodontist.
At Lansdowne Orthodontics in Leesburg and South Riding, Virginia, we’ve put together these tips and tricks for caring for your braces. If you adhere to them, you’ll be braces-free in no time.
Avoid these foods
In addition to reducing your sugar intake, you should avoid foods that can get caught in your brackets or damage your appliance. These foods include:
- Chewy foods like bagels and licorice
- Crunchy foods like popcorn, granola and chips
- Sticky foods like chewing gum and gummy candies
- Hard foods like candies and nuts
- Foods you bite into like carrots, apples and corn on the cob
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet high in lean proteins, fruits, and green leafy vegetables and low in sugar is the best diet for everyone. Eating a lot of sugary foods with braces can lead to plaque buildup around your brackets that could permanently stain or damage your teeth. Following a healthy eating plan is key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. You can eat raw vegetables or fruits (carrots, apples, pears) that are very thinly sliced or you can slice the corn off the cobb. Soups and casseroles are a great way to enjoy a variety of fish, poulty, meats and vegetables that are easy on braces.
Brush like this
Along with eating healthy, brushing regularly is essential for everyone. If you have braces, you need to brush after every meal, because bits of food can get lodged in the nooks and crannies of your braces and turn to plaque.
Brush the inside and outside surfaces of your teeth as well as your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth. Use short, gentle circular motions, brushing the teeth from the gumline to the chewing surface. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.
Only 30% of Americans floss their teeth daily. If you wear braces, it’s important that you are one of them. Although flossing with braces on may be a challenge, you should floss after every meal to keep your teeth and braces clean. If you have trouble getting in between your braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. When it’s not possible to brush and floss, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
For more information on the care and cleaning of your braces, call us at Lansdowne Orthodontics to schedule an appointment today.