Have questions about? You’re not alone. Many of our patients ask us how they can maintain a healthy smile during orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Whether you’re wearing metal braces or Invisalign®️ (nearly invisible aligners) you can trust our dentist orthodontist for teeth straightening. Continue reading to learn our expert tips for how to care for teeth braces.
Taking Care of Your Braces
Don’t Neglect Oral Hygiene
Teeth braces can trap a lot of food, increasing your risk for cavities and gum disease. Taking the time to properly brush and floss becomes even more important during orthodontic treatment. The last thing you want is to need large fillings or have yellow teeth once your orthodontic braces are removed.
During orthodontic treatment, our dentist will need to see you every few weeks to monitor your progress and adjust youraccordingly. You should also continue seeing us every 6 months for your routine teeth cleaning and oral examination.
Get Toothbrush Bristles between Wires and Teeth
Our dentist orthodontist and the American Dental Association recommend you brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. Brushing your teeth helps remove plaque so you can avoid cavities and gum disease.
Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that sticks to your teeth and gums. It’s important that you remove plaque so it doesn’t harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. When brushing, make sure that you’re getting the bristles in between the wires and your teeth.
How to brush your teeth with dental braces:
- Bush the outside surface of each tooth.
- Brush where your gums and teeth meet, using a circular motion.
- Brush the inside surface of each tooth.
- Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth last.
Use a Floss Threader
Plaque loves to hide where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. For this reason, it’s important that you floss once a day so you can remove plaque and food particles between teeth. We understand that flossing with braces is a hassle, but it’s important that you take good care of your teeth so you can smile with confidence once we remove your braces. We recommend using a floss threader.
How to floss with teeth braces:
- Thread floss through the threader and slip it up behind your archwire.
- Pull floss between two teeth and up under your gum margins.
- Rinse with clean water.
Get Fluoridated Toothpaste and Mouth Rinse
Fluoride has been shown to decrease your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. For this reason, we recommend our patients use toothpaste and mouth rinse that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps strengthen tooth enamel so it’s less susceptible to decay.
Avoid “Problem” Foods
While you’re wearing braces, you’ll need to avoid foods that are sticky or hard-to-chew. For example, you’ll want to cut an apple into bite-size pieces so you don’t accidently loosen a bracket.
Stay away from these “problem” foods while wearing teeth braces:
- Sticky chewy foods like taffy, caramels, and jerky
- Hard foods like apples and carrots (unless cut into bite-size pieces)
- Crunchy foods like corn chips, popcorn, almonds, and corn nuts
- Sugary drinks like fruit juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, and pops
Don’t Ignore Poking Wires or Brackets
Do you have a wire poking your gums or a loose bracket? The sooner you fix an issue with your dental braces, the sooner your teeth can continue moving into optimal alignment. While some issues may need to be fixed by our dentist orthodontist, there’s a lot you can do at home.
How to avoid dental discomfort:
- Trim poking wire with clean nail clippers.
- Press braces wax on brackets that are irritating your cheeks.
- Have a loose bracket replaced during your next visit with us.
Have questions about your orthodontic treatment? Dr. Adam Piotrowski DDS offers metal braces, FASTBRACES®️, Six Month Smiles®️, and Invisalign. To schedule your appointment with our dentist orthodontist in Grand Rapids MI, call Precision Family Dental at (616) 207-1280.