Care to be taken with Braces
Braces, wires, rubber bands and other appliances attached to teeth during orthodontic treatment can attract food and plaque, which can stain teeth if not brushed properly. Most dentist recommend brushing after every meal or snack and carefully removing any food stuck with an interdental toothbrush. Rinsing with a mouthwash is also a must. A water flosser can help you better in maintaining and cleaning the in-between surfaces of teeth. Its stream of pulsating water can remove plaque and food debris more easily and also from hard to reach areas.
With braces on, its mandatory to brush after every meal. That is because food particles get stuck easily and the longer they stay in your mouth, greater the risk of dental caries. Use a soft toothbrush with round bristles, or an electric toothbrush.
Start by rinsing with water. Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush the gum line first. It’s important to brush both above and below the brackets. Brush down from the top and up from the bottom, on each tooth. Next, brush your teeth with a Proxa-brush or an interdental brush. Insert the brush between two braces and give up and down strokes, once done, move to the next space. Repeat the procedure for all teeth. Rinse again after brushing.
Use a floss threader or an orthodontic flosser. Waxed floss is better as it slides easily between your teeth. Unwaxed flosses snag on your braces. To floss teeth with braces, insert the short end of the floss through the space between the main braces wire and the upper portion of tooth closest to the gum. Use a sawing motion on each side.
Foods to Avoid:
Patients can eat most foods, if they cut them into small pieces. There are certain food items that can break or loosen the braces, so should be avoided. For example:
- Hard or tough to bite foods such as apples, carrots, popcorn, nuts.
To eat crunchy foods, cut them into small pieces.
- Sticky and chewy foods such as dried fruits, taffy, corn on the cob.
- Do not chew ice or bubble gum and candies.
- Avoid sugary and starchy food as it results into plaque build up.
Bands are an essential part to braces. Most patients need to wear elastic bands for realignment day and night towards the end of the treatment. If you break a band or lose one, quickly replace it.
If you are ever without a toothbrush for a certain period of time, vigorously rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. But try and brush as soon as possible.
Also, if your braces or wires cause ulceration on the inside of your lips or cheeks or tongue, you can place a special wax given by your dentist on them to prevent it.
Caring for Retainers:
Brush your retainer as well while you are brushing, but without toothpaste. Clean it once a week with denture cleanser. Thoroughly rinse the retainer with plain water before placing it in your mouth.
Follow these precautions for a relatively hassle free and safe orthodontic treatment. Contact us for more information on this.