Braces are a common orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth and improve jaw alignment. While they can be uncomfortable at times, proper care can help to minimize discomfort and ensure that your treatment is successful. Here are some top tips for maintaining your braces and keeping your smile healthy.
Cleaning Your Braces Effectively
Thorough cleaning is essential for preventing plaque buildup and tooth decay while wearing braces. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your braces effectively.
- Gather your supplies: You’ll need a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, a floss threader, and floss or an interdental brush.
- Remove any removable parts: If you have elastics or headgear, remove them before brushing.
- Brush your teeth: Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush gently around each bracket and wire, paying special attention to the areas where food particles tend to get stuck. Use small, circular motions to clean both the front and back surfaces of your teeth.
- Floss: Use a floss threader to guide floss under the wires and between your teeth. Floss gently to remove plaque and food particles.
- Rinse: Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water or mouthwash to remove any remaining toothpaste or debris.
Avoiding Foods That Can Damage Braces
Certain foods can damage braces or make them uncomfortable to wear. It’s best to avoid sticky, hard, or chewy foods, such as:
- Hard candy
- Raw carrots
Dealing with Common Issues
Discomfort and minor issues are common during orthodontic treatment. Here’s how to handle some common problems:
- Soreness: Mild soreness is normal after braces adjustments. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help.
- Loose or broken wires: If a wire becomes loose or breaks, contact your orthodontist immediately. They will schedule an appointment to repair or replace the wire.
- Mouth sores: Rinsing with warm salt water can help soothe mouth sores. You can also apply a small amount of over-the-counter oral anesthetic to the affected area.
- Food trapped in braces: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or an interdental brush to gently remove food particles.
Regular Orthodontist Visits
Regular visits to your orthodontist are crucial for monitoring your progress and making any necessary adjustments. These visits typically occur every 4-8 weeks.
- Wear a mouthguard when playing sports to protect your braces and teeth from impact.
- Avoid using your teeth to open objects, as this can damage your braces.
- Keep your braces clean and dry to prevent rust and other damage.
- Maintain a healthy diet and regular brushing and flossing habits to promote overall oral health.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your braces stay in good condition and that your orthodontic treatment is a success. Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene habits is essential for a healthy, beautiful smile.
Ready to experience the best in orthodontic care?
Reuland & Barnhart Ortho is a leading provider of high-quality orthodontic care for children, teens, and adults. We offer a wide range of services, including braces, Invisalign®, and other orthodontic treatments. Our experienced orthodontists are dedicated to helping you achieve your dream smile.
We offer a variety of financing options to make orthodontic treatment affordable for everyone. We also accept most insurance plans.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our services.
We look forward to helping you achieve a smile you love!