Keeping your braces in good condition is vital to successful treatment. You want to have a beautiful smile when it’s all done. No matter what type of treatment you receive from your orthodontist, retainers, expanders and braces all need a little extra care. Take your time, and follow these four tips for outstanding results.
1. Establish a Brushing Routine
When appliances are in your mouth all day, they get exposed to food and bacteria. You must do a good job cleaning both your teeth and the hardware. Use an electric toothbrush with toothpaste to clean your teeth after eating, before school and at night. Be sure to pay attention to getting around your molars and the brackets. If you have removable appliances, gently brush them and rinse them with warm water.
2. Flossing is Important
Getting floss between your braces may seem like it’s too time-consuming to do each day. Fortunately, there are special orthodontic flossers available. Flossing is necessary because food gets stuck between your teeth and can cause cavities. If you prefer to use a water pick, these work just as well and are easier to use.
3. Avoid Eating Sticky and Crunchy Foods
One of the main things you can do to care for your braces is to protect them from getting damaged. The food you eat can stick to or break different parts of your appliances. Ideally, stay away from crunchy foods such as hard nuts and ice. You can cut apples and raw carrots into bite-sized pieces, so they don’t break off your front brackets. Stay away from sticky candy such as taffy and gummy to ensure your braces aren’t damaged.
4. Wear a Mouthguard
Playing sports requires that you protect your smile with a mouthguard whether you have braces or not. Guards designed explicitly for orthodontics protect your lips, braces and teeth if you should get hit in the face with a ball or elbow. These are essential because brackets can injure your lips, which can be very painful.
Wearing braces has significant benefits at the end of treatment. Make sure you are caring for your investment by taking care of your mouth during this process. Daily brushing and flossing keep your teeth and appliances in top shape, and you can protect your braces by avoiding certain foods and wearing a mouthguard during sports. Be sure to put in the work so that you end up with the beautiful smile you have always wanted.