Congratulations on getting braces! It’s pretty exciting to know in a few months, your smile or your child’s smile will be straighter than ever. It’s important to make sure you’re listening to The Super Dentists and keeping on top of your braces care routine.
Learning how to take care of braces is important for their effectiveness and the overall timeline of how long it takes for the braces to work.
The Importance of Braces Care
Why is it so important to know how to take care of your braces? Let’s start with the big one. Wearing braces is an investment in your oral health.
No one wants to see their investment mistreated. Proper care while wearing braces not only makes them more effective, it can shorten the length of time they must be worn.
Tips on How to Take Care of Braces
There are a few basic things you’ll need to do for regular braces care. And while sometimes mistakes and accidents happen, you can minimize issues by doing the following:
- Protect your mouth. Using a mouthguard during certain activities and sports can protect your mouth from getting cut or brackets and wires from getting damaged or popping off.
- Get help when needed. If a bracket does become unattached or a wire snaps, contact and return to the orthodontist immediately to get the issue resolved.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing appropriately are more important than ever.
- Adhere to the eating guidelines. Make sure that you avoid sticky foods or chewy things like gummy candies. These will make caring for your braces more difficult.
Brushing and Flossing with Braces
When you have traditional metal or clear braces on your teeth, brushing and flossing become even more critical. There are lots of extra tiny nooks and crannies for food particles to get stuck. And food that builds up around and underneath the brackets without getting removed timely can cause plaque buildup and cavities.
But you don’t want to brush and floss hard or you could damage the braces. Instead, use a soft bristle and a circular motion to brush. Floss gently with the thread between the teeth and wire for maximum food removal. (There are specially designed orthodontic tools that can help.)
Using a Waterpik and mouthwash may also protect the teeth.
As frustrating as it may seem, you need to make sure to floss your teeth and brush after every meal. This includes snacks, small meals, dinners out, anything. It might seem like a little much but it’s important for taking care of your braces.
Eating with Braces
Did you know there are food restrictions when it comes to braces? It’s not the end of the world, and it’s only for a little while. But following the dietary guidelines can make a big impact on both your brackets staying on and your comfort.
While there are many foods you shouldn’t eat with braces, it’s important to understand how to eat correctly and how you should handle eating certain foods.
Hard Foods – Hard and crunchy foods can break or dislodge your braces. Avoid eating hard candies, nuts, popcorn, ice cubes, and hard pretzels. If you still want to enjoy these foods, consider cutting them into small, bite-sized pieces.
Tough Meats – When eating meat, make sure it’s tender and cut into small, manageable pieces. Avoid chewing on large, tough cuts of meat that require excessive force.
Fruits and Veggies – Raw fruits and vegetables are essential for a balanced diet. However, it’s best to cut them into small, manageable pieces to avoid damaging your braces. Steaming or cooking them can also make them easier to eat.
Foods to Avoid with Braces
There are some foods that should just be avoided when you’re wearing traditional braces. These include:
- Corn on the cob
Basically anything hard, crunchy, or sticky. And while we’re at it, it’s time to kick those bad habits of chewing on non-food items like pencils, pens, and fingernails. Gnawing on these non-food items can damage the braces as well.
It’s also a good idea to minimize sugary drinks and candy. Otherwise, that sugar just sits under the brackets, waiting to wreak havoc on your enamel.
Foods to Eat with Braces
Now for the foods that you can eat. Yay! If it’s not on the previous list, it’s probably okay to eat.
But be aware, when you first get braces put on, and possibly even after they’ve been adjusted on regular orthodontia visits, your teeth, gums, and jaw may be sore or tender. To spare yourself the temporary pain, stick to soft foods like:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Soft fruits like bananas and grapes
See? This list isn’t so bad after all.
Essentials for Braces
Whether you’re getting braces for your children or as an adult, it’s important to follow these braces care guidelines. Understanding how to take care of braces will help guarantee that you get the healthy smile you’ve always dreamed of.
By properly caring for your braces, you’ll have a better experience and shorten the length of time you are wearing braces. Still have more questions? Reach out to The Super Dentists at (855) GO SUPER or text us at 1-844-765-1234.