Wearing braces on your teeth is a step toward improving your appearance and self-esteem for the rest of your life. A straight, appealing smile is the goal, but you must care for your braces and follow your orthodontist’s instructions during treatment to achieve that goal.
Follow these tips for a successful braces journey.
Not surprisingly, you must properly and consistently perform oral hygiene tasks. Your teeth are even more susceptible to plaque buildup and bacteria attacks when you’re wearing braces. Food can easily become trapped in the wires and brackets, and it can be difficult to remove debris. Try to carry a soft-bristled toothbrush with you so that you can stop by the bathroom after eating to clean your braces and teeth. Always rinse thoroughly with water to dislodge food, and brush gently from various angles.
Even though it can be tricky, don’t neglect flossing. Thread the floss between your teeth and wires, and gently work the floss between the braces and teeth. Try using a threader available at drugstores to insert the floss more easily. Your orthodontist may also recommend rinsing with mouthwash daily to fight bacteria.
Always stick to the diet that your orthodontist provides. Do not eat the foods that are known to damage braces, such as popcorn or hard candies or sticky caramel. Items on the list are common culprits for breaking your brackets or wires. It’s best to consider every food before you eat it so that you avoid items that may damage your braces. In some cases, you can simply cut the food into smaller pieces and still be able to eat it.
You may also be warned against consuming too many starchy or sugary foods and drinks, which promote decay and gum disease. Also, break potentially harmful habits like chewing ice or knawing on pencils. Another way to protect your braces is to wear a mouth guard when engaging in sports or other physical activities. A customized mouth guard is the best option for protecting your smile.
Following these guidelines will help your teeth remain clean and healthy while undergoing treatment, so that your smile is in tip-top shape when the braces are removed.