It’s extremely important that you not only know how to take care of your teeth and braces and as you begin orthodontic treatment, but that you follow through. If you don’t the braces most likely will not stay intact, meaning that they can’t perform the way they’re supposed to and deliver the desired results. Taking care of your teeth throughout the process is also key to achieving the expected end results – fantastic looking teeth and a great smile. Following are 5 tips for maintaining your braces, ensuring that all your efforts will pay off.
1. Avoid Certain Foods
It is important to avoid sticky, chewy, hard foods, including things like hard candy, ice, gum, caramel, nuts, hard vegetables and meat. Instead, choose softer foods that won’t end up stuck on the braces wires. Good choices include eggs, smoothies, mash potatoes, baked/poached fish, pastas, breakfast cereals like cream of wheat, etc. In addition, to maintain your smile while wearing braces, avoid sugar laden foods to lower your chances of tooth decay.
2. Proper Brushing
Using a fluoride toothpaste, carefully brush your teeth after every meal using gentle, soft strokes with an Interdental toothbrush. These toothbrushes make it easier to reach underneath the braces wires.
It’s essential to floss at least twice a day or after every meal. This is especially important with braces because there are so many places that a toothbrush can’t get too. The floss will be able to reach just about all areas. Pick up a floss threader because it will make it a lot easier to floss around your braces safely.
4. Rubber Bands/Elastics
You’ll need to wear rubber bands/elastics at some point during your orthodontic treatment and it’s imperative that they are worn as prescribed if you want to experience successful end results. As a matter of fact, skipping one day of wearing the elastics can cause the teeth to move inappropriately. The bands/elastics can be taken off while you eat or when you brush your teeth. It’s a good idea to have a supply of extras handy and to use the appropriate size. Your orthodontist will more than likely provide you with specific instructions, including when and where to place rubber bands/elastics on your braces. The instructions will be unique to your needs and are provided to help ensure that you achieve the results you’re hoping for from your braces.
5. Report Damaged Braces
If your braces become damaged in any respect, it is essential that you make an appointment to see your orthodontist immediately. The sooner you have the braces fixed, the least amount of damage will be done to your teeth. You don’t want to end up reversing the success that has already been established with your smile.
The fact is that, maintaining your braces requires a significant amount of time and effort, however if you do it right, a healthy, beautiful smile will be your reward.