Whether the braces are worn by you or your child, it is crucial to know how to properly care for them. The right maintenance and precautions will ensure that the braces do their job and your entire mouth stays happy and healthy.
While it may seem that having a mouth full of metal is the worst thing ever, having braces doesn't have to be a traumatic experience. As long as you educate yourself on how to care for your new dental appliance, you'll be fine. Here are a few tips to care for your braces properly:
Every meal should take into account that you have a new appliance in your mouth that could be a collection plate for little bits of food. Before you get grossed out, just remember that there are certain foods that are not advised for people with braces. Don't worry; you'll be able to enjoy them again one day as soon as your orthodontic treatment is complete. In the meanwhile, here are a few foods and drinks to avoid:
- Sugary drinks, such as soda and juice, should be consumed in moderation. When you do have these drinks, try using a straw to avoid direct contact with your braces and your teeth. Sugar is a favorite food for decay-promoting oral bacteria.
- Candy and sweets, particularly sticky ones such as caramel, can be disastrous for braces. These substances can stick to the wires and brackets and even pull the braces off of the teeth. It is best to just stay away from them for now.
- Crusty or crunchy carbohydrates, like pizza crust, pretzels, and chips, can get trapped in between a tooth and a wire or within the brackets themselves. Not only can this be painful, but it could alter the alignment force of the braces.
Brushing and Flossing
You must take good care of your mouth, but this is especially true while you're wearing braces. It is best to brush immediately following each meal, but of course, that is not always possible. Try to stick to a consistent schedule as often as you can or at least brush every morning upon waking and every evening at bedtime.
You may think that having braces means that you can't floss anymore, but this is untrue. There are actually a number of specialized orthodontic flossers that you can buy at a local grocery or convenience store to help you get in those tight spaces.
For more tips about caring for braces, schedule an appointment with a local orthodontist in your area today.