When you decide to improve the alignment of your teeth, you generally have several treatment options to choose from. Braces offer a durable and reliable way to straighten crooked teeth and fix misaligned bites. But if you want the best results for your time and money spent, it is important to take good care of your braces.
Braces represent a significant investment, and their effectiveness is linked to how well they are maintained. If you neglect them, your outcomes may not be as satisfactory. We have provided some tips for how to maintain your braces and keep the results as good as possible.
Cleaning Your Braces
Cleaning your braces is a fundamental part of maintenance. Food particles and other debris can become caught in your braces and lead to plaque accumulation if you aren’t careful. This is why it is essential to be vigilant about cleaning your braces and having sagacious oral hygiene habits.
Start by brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Use a special toothbrush (such as an orthodontic toothbrush or an electric toothbrush) that can reach under and around the brackets on your braces. Make sure you brush all surfaces and clean thoroughly around each bracket.
After brushing, you can use an interdental brush to clean between your brackets. These special brushes can be inserted between the brackets to clean without disturbing the brackets themselves. Floss daily, being careful around the wires, and then use a fluoride mouthwash to give your mouth an extra layer of protection against plaque and potential decay.
Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks
Sugar might be the biggest enemy of braces. The acid released by bacteria when sugary foods are consumed can cause the wires, brackets, and enamel surface of teeth to be damaged. An enamel surface can’t be repaired, so taking in large quantities of sugar will damage your oral health and be detrimental to the results of your braces. Attempt to limit foods and beverages with high sugar content, as well as sticky foods that are challenging to remove from your braces. It is an excellent idea to brush or rinse with water after consuming anything high in sugar.
Avoid Hard or Crunchy Foods
Another thing that braces should stay away from is hard or crunchy foods. Hard or crunchy foods can easily stick and become lodged between the wires and brackets, or can break or bend the appliance. Avoid anything that is very hard or sticky, such as nuts, gum, hard candy, popcorn, chewy caramels, and chips.
If you absolutely can’t live without these foods for the duration of your braces treatment, it is best to eat them in moderation and be thorough in your cleaning routine. Additionally, avoid biting into hard foods like whole apples, corn on the cob, whole carrots, and whole nuts and chunky peanut butter. We recommend cutting these foods into small, bite-sized pieces to make them easier to eat.
Avoid Heavy Contact Sports
If you are involved in physical activities like sports, it is best to be strategic for your teeth’s safety. You should wear a well-cushioned mouth guard to protect your braces from injury during sports. It is also a good policy to avoid heavy contact sports that have higher possibilities of dental or oral injuries. If something hits your face and your appliance, you could become injured, or it is possible that your braces might become less effective.
Visit Your Orthodontist Regularly
Finally, it is critical to visit your orthodontist on a regular basis. Your orthodontist will make adjustments to your braces periodically and will check for any early signs of trouble, both with the alignment of your teeth and with the appliance itself. If anything is out of alignment or damaged, they can make the necessary adjustments or repairs before they cause any major problems.
Your braces will only work as well as the effort you put into mainta