Successful treatment with traditional braces requires special care instructions. The metal brackets and wires may feel unusual in your mouth, but rest assured that over time, you will get used to the feeling of having them there. Because orthodontic improvement can take many months or even years to achieve, it’s important that patients are prepared to take care of the hardware throughout the duration of their treatment plan. Read our oral hygiene tips below.
Oral Hygiene With Braces
If you have recently begun your orthodontic treatment with traditional braces, the following are our best oral hygiene tips to maintain your orthodontic hardware as well as your best dental health:
Brushing your teeth with braces is different than brushing your teeth without braces. You must use extra caution not to dislodge any of the brackets or wires while still thoroughly removing any food residue. For best results, patients should rinse their mouths with water to remove loose food debris before beginning to brush. Then, angle the toothbrush along the gums to remove the residue that collects in this area. Using the same angeled motion, brush away food from the top of the brackets. Finally, angle the toothbrush against the bottom of the brackets to brush upward.
Because of the additional brackets and wires, patients will need to floss at least once a day to prevent extra build-up. Additionally, flossing is a great way to remove anything caught in your braces. Using floss picks or floss thread, slip the floss between your teeth and under the wires. Don’t pull on the floss while it is underneath a wire, as this may cause damage. Rinsing your mouth thoroughly after flossing will get rid of the loosened debris.
Patients being treated with traditional metal braces will need to abide by certain dietary restrictions to reduce the risk of damage to the orthodontic hardware. Excessively crunchy or chewy foods are more likely to damage the hardware and prolong your treatment plan. Additionally, any foods that are notorious for getting caught between your teeth should be avoided. Some foods to avoid while undergoing orthodontic treatment with traditional metal braces include:
- Sticky and hard candy.
- Chewing Gum.
- Corn chips.
If you ever have any questions or concerns about your oral hygiene routine, please contact our office. We are happy to help patients with braces adjust to their new oral hygiene routines as they begin their journey toward a beautifully aligned smile.