(Health Tips) Once you have your braces and are on the path to receiving a straighter, lovelier smile, there are some things you must do to care for your braces and teeth. It will be a shame that you can take your braces off and then discover you may need to correct other dental issues. By following these ten care tips for folks with braces, you’ll be all set to celebrate and smile widely on the day your braces come off.
Watch What You Eat
One of the most crucial care tips for folks with braces is to watch what you eat. It is particularly important to avoid eating sticky foods because they can get stuck to your braces and teeth. If they’re stuck, you risk plaque gathering around your braces and staining. Additionally, you want to avoid eating hard foods because they can loosen the brackets and break the wires on your brackets.
Here are some foods you should avoid with braces:
- Sticky and chewy candies (such as caramel or chewing gum)
- Popcorn (due to the kernels)
- Raw, hard vegetables (such as carrots)
- Crunchy snacks
- Whole raw fruit (such as apples)
- Tough meat (such as steaks)
Brush More Often
Houston dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes whenever. But that’s for folks not wearing braces. If you have brackets, you will need to brush more often. Essentially, you want to brush once you eat every single time (including after snacks). That’s because food particles easily become trapped in the braces, and the longer those particles stay trapped, the higher risk you have of developing dental problems. It is also important that you brush your teeth the proper way.
Up Your Flossing
It is also important to maintain your flossing habit when you yourself have braces (or start the behavior now if you haven’t flossed regularly before). Floss once a day going between your brackets and under the wires. Here are several flossing techniques for braces: Invest in floss threaders because they may make it a lot easy to get a smile design under and around your brackets. And, follow waxed floss because it won’t get caught as easily on your braces as unwaxed floss.
Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions
Your Houston orthodontist is the expert when it comes to straightening your teeth, so it is wise to follow his or her recommendations. This simply means if your orthodontist suggests you wear headgear during the night or wear rubber bands daily, then you absolutely should! They have your smile in mind and aren’t just looking to torture you. And, you should go to your scheduled appointments!
Use a Fork
While we already talked about the types of foods you should avoid, we haven’t talked yet about how precisely you should eat with braces. Even though you cut all the foods we suggested from your diet, you still have to be cautious when it comes to eating. For example, even healthy foods can hurt your braces. That’s why we recommend always by using a fork and a knife when eating instead of biting into food directly. So, when you eat pizza, cut it into pieces and eat it with a fork.
Break Bad Habits
If you have a nail-biting habit or munch on your pencils, now is the time to stop. Bad oral habits like these are bad for your braces. They can harm your brackets, such as loosening or breaking brackets. And, the greater damage you do to your braces while wearing them, the longer you will need to wear them. That should be a good motivation to break the bad habit.
Visit Your Dentist
In addition to seeing your orthodontist regularly, additionally, you want to keep up with your regular dental checkups and cleanings. While your orthodontist is paying close focus on your teeth’s alignment to give your digital smile design, it is not his or her job to check your teeth for medical issues. Your dentist can test your teeth and execute a professional cleaning. Some people who have braces might need to visit their dentist more than every half a year.
Get the Right Tools
You don’t have to run out and purchase all new dental tools when you get braces, but there are some dental tools that will make taking care of your braces a lot easier. As an illustration, floss threaders make flossing easy and there are even special brushes (like a cone-shaped, inter-ortho brush) making it easier to have the hard to reach spots. Additionally, many people with braces find it beneficial to buy an oral irrigator, which uses pulsating water to remove plaque and food.
Take Pain Relievers as Needed
Many brace wearers are surprised to find they are sometimes in pain after a visit to see their orthodontist. That is normal after they are first put on and after each adjustment. However, the pain tends to be minimal and does not last long. You can test drinking something cold or eating ice cream to find relief. Or, you may take a pain reliever before before, such as Tylenol.
Wear Your Retainer
Last but not least, taking care of your brace-free teeth doesn’t end when the braces come off. It is critical to wear your retainer as directed by your orthodontist. The retainer can help prevent your newly aligned teeth from shifting back again to their original locations.