How to Take Care of Your Braces- Braces Care Tips

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How to Take Care of Your Braces- Braces Care Tips

How to Take Care of Your Braces- Braces Care Tips

Once you have started your orthodontic brace treatment, the aftercare of your braces is more important than ever. Cleaning your teeth will take longer and it is important to give yourself time to do this properly so that your teeth and gums remain pristinely healthy during your orthodontic treatment.

Similarly, how, what and when you eat will require some adjustments, but once you get the hang of it, everything will fall into place.

Whether you’ve had braces for crowded teeth, braces for gaps in your teeth or braces for overbite, the same techniques apply. 

Oral hygiene:

Brushing:

 It takes time for effective tooth brushing with orthodontic braces. Ideally, your teeth need to be brushed three times a day;  mornings, then after your main meal of the day and again last thing before bed.  It is important to brush all around the teeth, gum margins and underneath and alongside wires and orthodontic brackets.  It will take a longer time for you to brush around the orthodontic braces and wires so it is important to give this process much care and attention.

Inter-dental brushes can be used  to get in between the teeth and into hard to reach places and a Fluouride mouthrinse is also recommended twice per day. If you wear Invisalign aligners , removable braces or retainers these can be removed and  cleaned separately. A soaking solution can also be used a couple of times a week to keep aligners and retainers extra clean.

Flossing:

Flossing is still possible with Orthodontic braces and involves adjusting your technique and working around orthodontic wires and appliances. A special type of floss with a threader can be useful for reaching underneath Orthodontic wires.

Choose the right foods and drinks:

As a rule of thumb any foods that are hard, sticky, chewy or crunchy need to be avoided whilst undergoing Orthodontic brace treatment. Lollies and candies should be avoided as these are not only full of sugar which can cause tooth decay, but are also a frequent cause of broken orthodontic braces. In the days following your braces fitting, a soft diet of soups, soft pasta, yoghurt etc will make the transition to brace treatment easier. After the first week or so, more textured foods can be introduced and a return to a mostly normal healthy diet can take place. If you like healthy snack options such as raw carrots or apples, please continue to enjoy these, but make sure they are thinly sliced as you won’t be able to eat them in larger pieces.

If you wear  Invisalign aligners, removable braces or retainers these can easily be removed for eating and drinking, kept in a safe place ideally your Invisalign/retainer case and you can enjoy all of your preferred foods. Invisalign aligners aswell as retainers must always be removed for all foods and drinks apart from natural cold water. Once you have finished eating, it is important to brush your teeth and aligner/retainer and reinsert it as soon as possible.

Plain water is by far the safest thirst quencher when having orthodontic brace treatment.

Fizzy drinks are a ‘no-no’ with braces due to the increased risk of dental decay and erosion.  Even if you don’t wear fixed orthodontic braces, the sugar content of these drinks increases the risk of tooth decay, so it is important to avoid them. Sugar-free and “zero-sugar” alternatives are also to be avoided as natural sugar is often substituted with artificial sweeteners which can cause just as much damage to teeth. Whilst fruit juices can still be consumed, it is recommended that these are taken less frequently and only alongside a main meal, through a straw and that your mouth is rinsed thoroughly afterwards.

For patients who may have conventional ceramic braces, certain foods such as those containing turmeric, or drinking tea and coffee can stain the elastic ligatures it is worth minimising your intake of stain-inducing foods and drinks.

Caring for braces whilst at school:

For many kids and teens, caring for braces during school times can be more of a challenge. If possible, choose softer foods for snack and lunch times. Toasted sandwiches, paninis and crisps are too hard and may cause breakages of the braces. It is best if kids can bring a spare or travel toothbrush with them to school to clean their teeth after eating. If sometimes,  this proves too hard, it is important that the teeth are brushed once they return from school.

Professional cleanings:

It is important to maintain your routine dental appointments with your general dentist about every six months and have a professional cleaning of your teeth. Despite all one’s best efforts, there will always be areas within your mouth that need some extra attention, so keeping up regular dental appointments is highly recommended. Your dentist will make sure that your teeth and gums remain healthy and decay-free.