Do You Wear Braces? Follow these tips on dental care for braces:
Wearing braces may seem like a temporary sacrifice, but how well you maintain your dental hygiene with braces can have a lasting impact. Improper dental hygiene with braces can result in in tooth decay, gum disease, white spots on your teeth as well as prolonged treatment. Protect your investment in your braces by following these quick tips for good oral hygiene.
Brush up! Step-up your brushing routine to ensure you remove plaque and food debris that can get more easily trapped around braces, brackets, and wires. Follow the rule of 3/2 – brush at least 3 times per day for at least 2 minutes long. Also, keep in mind that electronic toothbrushes work most effectively with braces – just be sure to replace the bristles periodically to ensure optimal cleaning.
Floss frequently. Flossing is always important but it becomes especially critical for those with braces. It is the most effective way to remove the debris and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. However, brackets and wires make flossing extra tricky. Consider using a waterpik to clean more easily between the teeth and along the gum line. A floss threader is also recommended to help you pull the floss through the braces and wires more easily.
Skip sticky foods. Chances are, as soon as your braces went on, your orthodontist handed you a detailed list of certain foods to avoid. In general, if you wear braces should stay away from sticky, hard foods – such as gummy bears, caramels, bagels, and popcorn — that can either get stuck in the braces or cause them to snap or dislodge. Also, beware of bad habits, like biting nails and chewing ice, which can easily damage your braces (and teeth)!
Choose low-acid foods. Protect tooth enamel while wearing braces by opting for low acid foods. Instead of oranges, pineapples, and soft drinks, choose healthy, low-acid options such as bananas, melons, milk, water, poultry and seafood. In general, foods that are high in calcium and phosphorous and rich in Vitamin D are also great choices for those wearing braces.
See your dentist regularly. While your orthodontist will play a key role in your oral care while you’re wearing braces, it’s still very important to see your dentist regularly. Your dentist will take extra care to clean around your wires and braces to ensure that your smile looks its best once the braces are removed. Thorough, regular, cleanings will also aid in the prevention of white spots that can form on the outer enamel of your teeth where the braces are attached. Your orthodontist or dentist can recommend effective whitening products to help combat the appearance of white spots upon removal of braces, if necessary.
Dr. E recognizes that braces are a major investment in your smile. The above dental hygiene tips for braces can help you protect your investment for years to come!
Contact Dr. E Cosmetic & Family Dentistry for any and all of your dental needs and concerns: 480-494-2435