How To Take Care of Your Braces: 4 Ways to Protect Your Teeth

tween boy with braces - Rigby orthodontic office

Getting Braces and taking proper care of them mean’s that you’ll have to adjust some of your regular oral hygiene routines as well as, possibly changing some of your eating habits. While this transition can be hard at first, over time it will start to become second nature. Much of the information provided in this article will also be given to you from your Rigby orthodontics office when your braces are first put on your teeth or even at your initial consultation. However, if you have any additional questions or would like more information on how to properly care for your new investment contact Randall Orthodontics today. We are more than happy to provide you with the answers to any and all of your orthodontic questions. 

Brushing & Flossing With Braces

cartoon of tooth holding toothbrush giving a thumbs up- Rigby Orthodontic office

Common oral hygiene guidelines recommend brushing your teeth twice a day; once in the morning and once at night. For people with braces, they should expect to brush at least twice that amount. Due to the fact that braces’ brackets and wires can catch food, it’s essential to the health of your teeth that you brush and floss your teeth after every meal and snack. Our Rigby orthodontic office recommends the following guidelines for successfully brushing and flossing with braces:

  • Begin by rinsing your mouth out with water. This will help to loosen some food caught between your braces.
  • If you have elastics or other removable components remove them before brushing.
  • Holding a soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle begin to clean around the wires and brackets of your braces starting from the top and moving down. 
  • Next, clean each tooth individually in a circular motion while applying gentle pressure.
  • If there are spaces between your teeth or you need to clean between the wires, we suggest using an interdental brush. You can purchase these from your orthodontic office in Rigby.
  • For tighter spaces, it is critical that you floss after meals. Flossing removes any leftover food particles or plaque that both a brush and interdental brush can’t reach. Be gentle with floss, working it back and forth between teeth and wires. If you need to, use a floss threader to get to the hard to reach places more easily.  

Pro Tip: Since you’ll be needing to brush and floss your teeth more often then you’re used to, it’s a smart idea to carry your oral hygiene “tools” with you wherever you may go. Additionally, if you work outside the home, keep a kit filled with floss, your toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouth wash at your desk so you’ll always be prepared. 

Foods To Avoid

Since braces are more delicate than our teeth, certain foods should be avoided while wearing braces. When you first are fitted for braces your orthodontist will give you a list of foods and types of food that should be avoided. Common foods that you will find on this list include: 

  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Ice
  • Corn on the cob
  • Gum
  • Caramel
  • Beef Jerky
  • Apples
  • Carrots

Basically, you’ll need to stay away from foods that would be considered chewy, crunchy, hard or sticky. In addition to avoiding certain foods, it’s essential to the longevity of your braces that you avoid habits such as chewing on pens, nails, straws or anything that isn’t a recommended food, per se. 

Trouble Shooting: When Bad Things Happen

Closeup portrait young terrified girl woman scared at dentist visit, siting in chair, covering her mouth, doesn't want dental procedure

When wires break or wires protrude due to an injury or an accident, it can be highly uncomfortable. When braces do break it’s unlikely that you will need an emergency procedure performed; unless other injuries such as a cracked or missing tooth are present. If you do experience a loose band or bracket or a protruding wire it’s best to contact your Rigby orthodontics office to schedule an appointment to fix the issue. In the meantime, these following tips from WebMD can help you to get through the ordeal before seeing your orthodontist:

  • Protruding Wire – Try using the eraser at the end of a pencil to position the wire to a less uncomfortable area. If this isn’t possible, use some orthodontic wax to cover the end of the wire. Do not cut the wire yourself. 
  • Loose Brackets – Using a small amount of orthodontic wax reattach the loose brackets or to provide a cushion between the bracket and your gums. 
  • Loose Bands – Loose bands must be replaced or recemented back into place. Save the band and schedule an appointment with your Rigby orthodontic office right away. 
  • Loose Spacers – Need to be replaced or repositioned by your orthodontist if they fall out.

Visit Your Orthodontist and Dentist Regularly

One of the best ways to keep your braces and your teeth in check is by visiting your dentist and orthodontist regularly. 

When you are fitted for braces you will visit your Rigby orthodontist office about every six weeks for adjustments. Usually, after an adjustment, you will experience some pressure or tightness and possible pain. This adjustment period usually only lasts a few days. If you do experience pain or pressure for more than a week contact your orthodontist immediately. He or she will be able to notice if something isn’t adjusted correctly or if any parts are broken, which could be causing pain. 

In addition to your orthodontist appointments, it’s critical to the health of your teeth and gums that you maintain your regular dentist’s appointments. Routine checkups usually occur twice a year and are beneficial for protecting teeth and gums from common issues such as gum disease or cavities. 

Taking care of your teeth with braces can seem challenging, but the above steps are critical for ensuring that when your braces finally do come off, you’re left with a healthy and brilliant smile that you’ll love showing off.For more information or if you’d like to schedule an appointment contact Randall Orthodontics; we want to help you smile with confidence!

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