Before and After
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Braces
Wearing braces can give you a beautiful smile. But if not properly taken care of, your teeth may be permanently harmed after wearing braces. You must follow your orthodontist's instructions as to how to take care of your braces and teeth while wearing braces.
With all their nooks and crannies, braces can hide food, which can cause:Stains on your teeth
Brushing, flossing, and avoiding certain foods are the most important things to do to keep your teeth healthy and braces protected while wearing braces.
To maintain healthy teeth and gums, you should brush after every meal and before you go to bed. The brush should placed against the teeth at a 45° angle. The bristles should be pushed under the wires and between the teeth. Use a circular motion to scrub all over the braces, gums and teeth. Take your time and don't forget to brush the tongue side and chewing surfaces of the teeth to ensure all plaque and food have been removed. It should take you about three minutes to complete a proper brushing!
Flossing is often difficult but very important. Waxed floss should be used at a length of 18 inches. The floss must be threaded under the archwire before it is passed between the teeth. Rub the floss up and down against each tooth surface, avoid using a shoe shine or sawing motion without forgetting the back side of the last teeth. After a few weeks of practice, it will be easy to floss once a day.
Taking Care of Removable Appliances
It is also important to take care of your removable appliances. Brush them as instructed by your orthodontist and either put them back in your mouth or store them in their case.
Remember, it is important to visit the dentist every six months while wearing braces for frequent cleanings and examinations.
To protect your braces while you are wearing them, it is important to watch the food that you eat and avoid those that can cause damage to your braces. Follow these guidelines while wearing braces to help you avoid problems:Avoid hard candy or mints that stay in your mouth a long time, the extra sugar will cause plaque to build up.
Avoid sticky foods that can damage or loosen your braces: taffy, gum, raisins, cookies, caramel, dried fruits, etc.
Avoid crunchy foods that can break your braces: popcorn, corn chips, nuts, etc.
Cut hard foods like apples and carrots into bite-size pieces.
Avoid eating food outside of mealtimes as this gives a greater opportunity for bacteria to build up on your teeth. The saliva your mouth produces at mealtimes helps kill the bacteria on your teeth.
Eat foods like peanuts, cheese, and sugar-free chewing gum after eating carbohydrates. These foods can help counter the effects of the acids produced by other foods.