Caring for Braces
Your Oral Hygiene With Braces
Oral hygiene is an essential daily habit. Brushing and flossing help to eliminate the plaque and bacteria buildup that can contribute to issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. While oral hygiene is important every day, it is especially important when you are wearing braces.
To effectively brush and floss your teeth with braces, you will need to adjust your routine. In addition to brushing in the morning and at night, it is also recommended that you brush after every meal. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, use gentle circular motions to brush all surfaces of your teeth. When brushing the fronts of your teeth, angle the brush against your brackets. Clean carefully around each bracket and under the wire. As soon as you notice the bristles fraying, change your toothbrush.
Flossing is another essential habit that should be done at least once a day. Food can easily get lodged under the wire and against the brackets. Flossing can help to keep your smile clean of debris while also helping to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. A floss threader can be helpful in getting the floss under the wire. Work the floss gently back and forth between each tooth. Scrape up and down the sides of each tooth and around each bracket. Do not forget to floss behind your back teeth. Mouthwash can also help to eliminate any lingering loose debris and bacteria. Read more about Braces and Dental Hygiene.
How to Protect Your Braces
For braces to be effective, it is important that you take essential steps to protect them. Avoid eating hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy foods. Foods like whole apples, corn on the cob, raw carrots, hard candies, soft caramels, and chewing gum can all cause your brackets to pop loose or your wires to bend or break.
If you play sports, a mouth guard is highly recommended, especially if you are wearing braces. Certain types of sports can put you at risk for oral injuries. However, you cannot wear your regular mouth guard. A specialized mouth guard can be made that will accommodate your braces and help to provide you with optimal protection. Read more about Protecting Your Braces.
What if I Have a Braces-Related Emergency?
Even if you take very good care of your braces, there is still a chance that a braces-related emergency can occur. Brackets might pop loose. Wires can bend or break. These emergencies need to be taken care of as quickly as possible to avoid hiccups in your treatment. Call the office to schedule an appointment right away, and we will do our best to fit you in as soon as possible. If your intraoral tissues are being irritated by a bracket or wire, paraffin wax can be helpful to prevent sores and other injuries until your appointment. Read more about Braces Emergencies.
Taking care of your braces helps to ensure that they move your teeth properly and in the least amount of time possible. Call Naborowski Orthodontics at (630) 519-1035 if you have any questions regarding the care of your braces today.