Orthodontic braces are the go-to solution for crooked or misaligned teeth. But wearing braces requires special care to ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout the orthodontic treatment process. Braces can create additional places for food and plaque to get stuck, which can cause decay and gum disease if not properly managed.
We’ll discuss how to care for your teeth and gums when you have braces in this blog post.
Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is a vital part of maintaining good oral hygiene, especially when you have braces. You need to brush your teeth after every meal or snack to remove any food particles that may have gotten stuck in your braces. Food debris and plaque can quickly accumulate around the brackets and wires, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
To brush your teeth when you have braces, start by using a soft-bristled brush with fluoride toothpaste. Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and use gentle circular motions to clean the brackets, wires, and teeth. Pay special attention to the areas where the braces attach to your teeth, as these areas can be difficult to clean. Brush for at least two minutes each time you brush, and be sure to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after brushing.
Flossing Your Teeth
Flossing is an essential part of maintaining good oral hygiene, but it can be challenging when you have braces. Flossing helps remove any food particles and plaque that may be trapped between your teeth and braces. There are several ways to floss your teeth when you have braces, including using floss threaders or interdental brushes.
To floss using a floss threader, start by threading the floss under the wire of your braces. Gently slide the floss up and down between your teeth, making sure to clean both sides of each tooth. Repeat this process for each tooth until you have flossed your entire mouth. Alternatively, you can use an interdental brush to clean the spaces between your teeth and braces.
Limiting Certain Foods
When you have braces, it’s essential to be mindful of the foods you eat. Sticky and sugary foods can get stuck in your braces and cause decay and gum disease. Foods to avoid include hard candies, gum, popcorn, nuts, and anything that requires excessive chewing or biting.
Instead, focus on eating soft, easy-to-chew foods like fruits, vegetables, and cooked meats. Foods like yogurt, cheese, and milk can also be beneficial for your teeth and gums, as they are high in calcium, which can strengthen your teeth and bones.
Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups are essential when you have braces. Your orthodontist will need to adjust your braces periodically, and your dentist will need to monitor your oral health to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy.
During your dental checkups, your dentist will clean your teeth and remove any plaque or tartar that may have built up around your braces. They will also check your gums for signs of inflammation or infection and assess your overall oral health.
Caring for your teeth and gums when you have braces requires extra effort, but it’s worth it in the long run. Proper oral hygiene habits can help prevent decay and gum disease and ensure that your orthodontic treatment is successful. Remember to brush and floss regularly, avoid certain foods, and attend regular dental checkups to maintain optimal oral health.