Proper oral care is important for everyone, but for people with braces, it is especially crucial.
Continue reading to learn more about how to properly care for your braces.
Why Is It so Important to Care for My Braces?
Traditional braces consist of metal brackets and wires that cover the teeth and work together to achieve a straighter smile.
Caring for your braces ensures the longevity and durability of your braces, and it also secures the health of your teeth and gums.
The presence of wires and brackets can make it considerably difficult to thoroughly clean the teeth; they can limit your visibility and make it quite difficult to reach all surfaces when brushing and flossing. It is also common for food to become trapped in braces; if not quickly and efficiently removed, the trapped food debris may lead to decay in the tooth.
Braces can also make it difficult to remove plaque from the surface of the teeth. Plaque is a sticky bacterial residue that, when left on the surface of the teeth, can lead to decay as the bacteria eats away at the tooth structure.
Following brace-friendly oral care routines can help ensure that you are properly caring for both your braces and your teeth and gums.
How to Brush Your Teeth with Braces
While caring for your braces may require a few extra steps, the general principle behind
brushing remains the same. For the best results, follow these steps for brushing your teeth with
● Wet your toothbrush and apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
● Tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle and brush in circular motions from top to bottom, being sure to clean every surface that you can reach.
● Brush thoroughly for at least two minutes.
● Once you have finished brushing, thoroughly floss your teeth to capture any debris that you were not able to reach while brushing.
● If you have trouble using regular floss with your braces, you may benefit from using a specialized orthodontic floss threader.
● Thoroughly rinse your mouth with mouthwash to finish; this will help eliminate any bacteria that lingers after brushing and flossing.
● Repeat twice daily, or after every meal when possible.
What Can I Eat with Braces?
Maintaining a brace-friendly diet is important, as certain foods can cause damage to the brackets or wires, or may be more prone to becoming trapped.
Foods that you can eat with braces include:
● Milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese
● Cooked vegetables
● Soft fruit (cut into bite-sized pieces)
● Mashed potatoes
● Scrambled eggs
● Tender meats (cut into bite-sized pieces)
Foods to avoid with braces include:
● Tough meats/Meats on the bone
● Hard, chewy, or sticky candy
● Hard fruits
● Uncooked vegetables
● Chewing gum
● Pizza crust
● Chips, pretzels, and hard crackers
It is also generally recommended to avoid foods and beverages high in sugar content. Sugar
can increase the development of plaque.
What Do I Do if a Wire or Bracket Breaks on My Braces?
A broken wire or bracket can be sharp and potentially dangerous. It is always recommended to call your orthodontist immediately after discovering damage to your braces, but there are scenarios in which some immediate action must be taken until you are able to make it in to have the wire or bracket repaired or replaced. Floating Bracket
If a bracket has become loose but still remains on the wire, a sterilized pair of tweezers may be used to temporarily reposition the bracket. If the bracket causes any discomfort, a piece of dental wax, cotton, or sugarless chewing gum can be placed over the bracket until you make it
in to see your orthodontist.
Broken or Protruding Wire
A broken or protruding wire can be extremely sharp, posing an immediate risk to the delicate tissues inside the mouth.
For protection and relief until you are able to see your orthodontist, use a Q-Tip or a sterilized pair of tweezers to push the wire in a safer and more favorable direction.
If you are unable to push the wire out of the way, it may be necessary to trim the excess material. This can be done with a pair of small and sterilized nail clippers or pliers. If necessary, a piece of dental wax, cotton, or sugarless chewing gum can be placed over the wire to protect
the cheek and gums until you see your orthodontist.
A bent wire is usually an indication that the patient has eaten something hard, crunchy, or sticky that caused the wire to bend out of shape.
A wire that has been bent out of place will not be able to perform correctly and may compromise your treatment; it is crucial that you see your orthodontist as soon as possible to have the wire repaired.
If you have experienced a cut or sore as a result of a broken bracket or wire, be sure to keep the area clean with warm salt water rinses or an antiseptic rinse.
Keeping up with your regularly scheduled orthodontic appointments is an important part of caring for your braces. It is during these visits that your orthodontist will check the progress of your treatment and examine the teeth for signs of damage or decay. If necessary, he or she will make adjustments to your treatment or ensure that you receive any restorative dental work that you may need.
Some orthodontists may also opt to administer regular fluoride treatments to help ensure the strength and durability of the tooth enamel during treatment.
For the best orthodontic treatment in Los Angeles County, trust in CaliSmile Orthodontics. Dr. Amir Dehghan has over 17 years of experience practicing both cosmetic and orthodontic dentistry. He will work with you to achieve the smile of your dreams. CaliSmile Orthodontics has locations in both Encino and West Hills, California. We offer both traditional fixed orthodontic treatment and Invisalign.
For a free orthodontic consultation in one of our Los Angeles County dental offices, give us a call anytime at 310-710-6527 or fill out our online appointment request form.