You wear braces for an extended time to get the desired results. However, braces can prove detrimental to your dental health without proper care. You may also find them stressful due to constant repairs and replacements.
However, well-taken care of dental braces last long and heal faster. Read on for tips that will help you maintain your dental braces.
1. Brush Your Teeth Correctly
Brushing your teeth when you have braces requires special care since the metal wires and brackets can hinder the process. Follow these tips while brushing:
- First, rinse your mouth with water to remove some food particles that may get dislodged in your braces and teeth.
- Using the toothbrush recommended for your braces by your orthodontist, start brushing your gum line.
- Then brush the top of the brackets, angling the toothbrush down.
- Angling the toothbrush up, next brush the bottom of the brackets.
- Repeat the process above, paying attention to each tooth.
2. Floss Correctly and Use Your Oral Irrigator
While flossing can be difficult with braces, interdental cleaning is still vital. A thin wax-coated floss is recommended because it doesn't easily stick to the metal braces. Follow the following steps:
- Thread the floss over the main wire of your braces.
- Be gentle to not pull the wire.
- Slide the floss in between your teeth.
- Slide the floss up and down.
- Pull out the floss carefully, making sure not to touch the braces.
- Repeat the process until you finish flossing in between all your teeth.
There are oral irrigators designed specifically for people with braces, such as those with an orthodontic tip. They have a tapered brush at the end to get behind the brackets with a blast of water.
3. Choose Your Diet Carefully
Your orthodontist will instruct you on the foods you can take and the ones you should avoid after you get braces. This is because the wires and bands in your braces can get damaged by certain foods.
Limit crunchy and hard foods that can loosen bands, knock off brackets or bend the wires of your braces. Also, limit sugary and sticky foods such as caramel and gummy bears that stick on your braces and are hard to remove, making your teeth susceptible to decay and cavities. Lastly, avoid excessively hot or cold food and drinks that cause the metal wires and brackets to expand or contract rapidly, causing wear and tear.
Other than the above tips, ensure you visit your orthodontist regularly for monitoring. For example, your braces may need tightening. Such checkups keep your braces in the best condition. Lastly, contact your orthodontist immediately if you're having side effects or any other problems with your braces.