Orthodontic treatment is becoming increasingly popular, but it’s important to remember that the hard work isn’t over once you get your braces. You still need to take care of them to ensure that your teeth stay healthy and that your treatment is successful. Here are five tips for maintaining your dental braces.
1. Brush thoroughly and regularly
Proper oral hygiene is essential for all orthodontic treatments, especially those with dental braces. To keep your braces in top condition and ensure that your treatment is successful, it’s important to brush thoroughly and regularly. Brushing should include brushing the brackets, wires, and other braces components, as well as between each tooth and along the gum line. It’s also essential to floss regularly and use a water pick or antibacterial rinse, as these can help to remove any additional plaque or debris that may have accumulated around the braces.
Additionally, fluoride toothpaste is recommended for those with braces, as it can help protect against cavities. The science behind this is that it contains particles that help to rebuild any areas of the teeth that have been weakened by plaque. As a result, the tooth enamel is strengthened, and cavities are prevented. Be sure to brush for a minimum of two minutes twice daily for optimal results.
2. Floss carefully
Flossing is essential to maintaining dental braces, but it must be done carefully. Start by cutting a piece of floss that’s about 18 inches long and threading it around each side of the brace. Gently work the floss between each tooth and along the gum line while being careful not to damage the braces. Flossing helps remove any plaque or debris between the teeth and can help prevent cavities and other dental problems.
In addition to regular flossing, using a water pick or antibacterial rinse can also benefit those with braces. A water pick is a device that uses pulsating streams of water to safely and gently remove plaque and debris from between the teeth. This can be especially helpful for those with tight spaces between their teeth or if regular flossing is difficult. An antibacterial rinse can help reduce bacteria in the mouth, which may help to reduce the risk of developing cavities or gum disease.
3. Avoid hard and sticky foods
When you have braces, it’s essential to be mindful of the types of foods that you eat. Hard and sticky foods should be avoided to prevent damage to the braces and ensure that your treatment is successful. Foods such as nuts, hard candy, and ice can all cause damage to the brackets or wires, leading to further complications. Sticky foods such as gum and taffy can become caught in the braces, which can be challenging to remove.
Additionally, limiting sugary snacks and drinks is essential, as these can increase the risk of cavities. Instead of hard or sticky foods, opt for softer options like fruits and vegetables that are easier to chew and more beneficial for your teeth. Eating various healthy foods can also help promote good health and provide the nutrients your body needs.
4. Wear a mouthguard during sports activities
When engaging in sports activities, it’s essential to wear a mouthguard if you have braces. Wearing a mouthguard can help protect the teeth, braces, and gums from damage, extending the treatment time or even leading to further complications. A mouthguard is designed to absorb force and reduce the risk of injury during certain sports activities.
When choosing a mouthguard, ensure it fits properly and is comfortable. Several mouthguards are available, including ones that can be customized for an individual’s mouth shape and size. Additionally, cleaning the mouthguard after each use is essential to prevent bacteria from accumulating. Doing so will help to improve the mouthguard’s life span and its ability to protect your teeth and braces. Taking these precautions can help ensure that your treatment is successful while reducing the risk of dental trauma during sports activities.
5. Visit your orthodontist regularly
Visiting your orthodontist regularly is an important part of maintaining your braces. Orthodontists can detect any potential issues with the braces early on and make adjustments if necessary. During a regular check-up, your orthodontist will examine the condition of the teeth, gums, and braces to ensure that everything is in good shape.
Regular visits also allow the orthodontist to adjust the braces, such as tightening or loosening them if needed. Additionally, a regular visit will ensure you get oral cleaning to remove any plaque or tartar that may have built up on the teeth since the last visit. This helps to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease, which can be more common in those with braces. By visiting your orthodontist regularly, you can ensure that your treatment is progressing well and help keep your smile healthy.
Dental braces can be a big adjustment, but with the proper care and maintenance, it is possible to have a successful treatment. These five tips can help ensure your braces remain in good condition while promoting oral health.