Braces are an investment in your smile and whether it’s metal, ceramic, or lingual braces they need to be looked after. With proper care, your braces will be much more comfortable and effective, meaning you’re closer to the smile you’ve always wanted! Believe it or not, it’s easier than it sounds.
Brushing & Flossing with Braces
A good oral health routine is an important part of your every-day health and wellness, but it’s even more important when braces are involved. Braces make it easier for food to get stuck in and around your brackets plus there’s a greater chance of plaque building up. So, without a regular cleaning regime, that build up can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay around your brackets.
It’s recommended that you brush after every meal to help reduce bacterial plaque and food build-up. It’s always a good idea to keep a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste in your school bag or at work to make it easier to keep that routine while you’re out and about.
Your brushing technique should also be a little different to accommodate your brackets. Start by brushing the gum line above your teeth holding the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle toward your gums. After your gums are clean, hold the toothbrush on a downward angle to brush the top of your brackets and then on an upward angle to brush the bottom of them. This will help dislodge any built up food in your braces.
Flossing can be a little trickier with braces but it’s super important. Flossing removes the built up food and plaque in the gaps between your teeth. If you find regular floss a little hard to use, try interdental or floss threaders. You should be able to find them at your local supermarket but if not ask our team about other options.
Remember to be gentle when brushing and flossing. Whist we love seeing you, too much pressure may damage or break your braces which means another trip to the practice. If you need a hand getting the right brushing technique, don’t be afraid to ask our team to give you a tutorial.
Avoid Certain Foods
It’s a common myth that when you get braces you have to stop eating your favourite foods but in fact there are very few foods that become off limits. Your orthodontist will talk to you about what you can and can’t eat but generally it’s a good idea to avoid anything chewy, sticky, crunchy, brittle or hard.
To reduce the risks of staining and decay around the brackets try to avoid sugary food and drink as well. If you are not careful the staining can become permanent and will be more noticeable once your braces have been removed. If you are worried about staining, talk to your orthodontist about a professional whitening treatment once your braces are removed.
If you’re a budding sports person that wears braces then you will need a custom made mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces. Whilst braces can actually help reduce displacement or tooth loss during a dental trauma, a mouthguard will protect your teeth, tongue, gums, and your braces from any unexpected accidents on the sporting field.
A custom-made mouthguard from your orthodontist is recommended. These mouthguards are tailor made for your mouth and can be remoulded by your orthodontist as your treatment progresses. They’ll also be a lot more comfortable and effective than an off-the-shelf mouthguard though speak to our team about the best solution for your needs.
Keeping Up Appearances
Probably the most important one is attending all your orthodontic appointments. As you progress through your treatment, you’ll have regular appointments with our specialist orthodontists. These appointments are important as we’ll check on the progress of your teeth, make any adjustments to your braces and make any adjustments to your braces. Regular professional cleanings during your orthodontic treatment are also recommended so we can keep your teeth sparkling and healthy. Every smile is different so how often you visit will depend on the tailored treatment plan developed by our orthodontists.
If you have braces then you will want to do everything you can to make sure you’re getting the best results. Caring for your braces is the first step to having a smooth and comfortable teeth straightening journey. Make sure you speak to your orthodontic practitioner if you have any questions or concerns. Maintaining a regular teeth cleaning routine, thinking about what you’re eating and investing in a custom-made mouthguard if you play sport are simple and easy ways to make sure you get your dream smile.