Getting metal braces on your teeth is a significant change. They will feel a bit strange, and it might seem impossible to eat anything at first! Here are a few tips from the experts at Senan Orthodontic Studios on how to take care of your braces.
Why is taking care of your braces important?
It’s important to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly to avoid developing cavities or gum disease. Metal braces can trap food particles underneath the wires and brackets, making it especially important to clean your teeth and braces regularly. Not taking care of your teeth with braces can prolong your orthodontic treatment. The next best way to ensure your braces keep functioning properly is to avoid foods that could damage them.
Foods to Eat With Braces
Getting your braces on or having them adjusted might cause some discomfort in your mouth for a few days. During that time, it’s best to eat soft foods such as:
- Dairy: cheese, pudding yogurt
- Bread: pancakes, tortillas, soft bread
- Grains: soft-cooked pasta, rice
- Cooked vegetables
- Tender meat
What Not to Eat With Braces
After your mouth feels back to normal, it might be tempting to enjoy something crunchy, hard, or sticky. Certain foods can cause broken brackets or wires. Here are some foods to avoid with braces:
- Foods you have to bite into such as corn on the cob or apples
- Sticky caramels
- Hard candies
- Nuts or popcorn
How to Clean Braces
You don’t need a special toothbrush to clean your braces, but be sure to thoroughly brush around the brackets and wires for about 60-90 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth for a total of four to six minutes. Ideally, you should brush your teeth at least twice daily or after every meal. It’s equally important to floss your teeth consistently. There are several options to assist with flossing with braces.
- Water Flosser: This is an alternative to traditional dental floss and works by spraying a steady stream of water between your teeth and around your braces to remove food particles your brush might have missed.
- Interproximal brushes: These are small brushes that fit underneath your wires to remove any stuck food particles.
- Floss Threaders: These allow you to weave traditional dental floss under the wires so you can floss as you usually would.
After brushing and flossing, mouthwash is another step you can take to keep your teeth clean and healthy during orthodontic treatment. In addition to regular oral hygiene habits at home, you should visit the dentist every six months for a dental exam and cleaning.
Make the Most of Your Orthodontic Treatment
Taking care of your braces and teeth will not only keep your smile healthy but will keep you on track towards a straighter smile. Indulging in certain foods or slacking on your oral hygiene could potentially prolong your treatment time. If you have any more questions about caring for your braces, feel free to call our office!