Maintaining good oral hygiene is a must, especially when you’re wearing braces. While your dentist may have ensured that your mouth and gums were healthy before you started the treatment, it can be risky if you develop an infection. If an infection does develop while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, your oral health care provider has no choice but to stop the treatment until the infection has cleared.
To avoid any potential mishaps with your treatment, make sure you take care of your teeth. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential with or without braces. However, when you have braces, you must step up your routine. Food can hide in the nooks and crevices of your braces. If you don’t clean your teeth properly, you risk developing white spots, dental decay, and gum disease. To brush properly, you need to:
- Brush your teeth twice a day or after every meal.
- Replace your toothbrush frequently because braces will wear them out faster.
- Consider brushing with an electric toothbrush.
Flossing is still necessary
Braces can make flossing a little more challenging. Many individuals use this as an excuse to avoid doing it at all. Flossing, however, is necessary to remove plaque buildup that brushing can’t reach.
Use an orthodontic flosser or floss threader to make this task easier. These can be found in most local pharmacies. You can also opt for waxed floss. It slips more easily between your teeth, reducing the risk of snagging on your braces.
Alternatively, you can use an interdental brush. This is a small brush that’s designed to clean the spaces between your teeth. Use the interdental brush to clean and loosen dirt. The tiny bristles can reach around wires and brackets, reaching places that a regular toothbrush can’t. Make sure you get in between each bracket and wire by using a mirror.
Always remember to be gentle. You don’t want to be overly rough with your braces and wind up hurting your teeth or gums.
Use alcohol-free mouthwash
Using mouthwash is a great way to supplement your other dental health habits. Opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash that contains fluoride. Rinse once every night. This will clear all the bacteria in your mouth, keep your breath fresh, and provide your teeth with an extra layer of protection. Avoid alcohol mouthwash. Your teeth are sensitive while wearing braces. Using alcohol-free mouthwash makes it so that rinsing doesn’t cause discomfort or contribute to a dry mouth.
Watch what you eat
Because braces make it more difficult to clean your teeth, it’s advisable to avoid foods that harm your gums and tooth enamel.
Limit your intake of foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. These can cause plaque to build up around your metal brackets. High-acid foods should also be avoided. Soda, pineapples, and tomatoes all contain acid, which can erode the enamel of your teeth. You should also stay clear of hard and crunchy food. The wires may flex and the brackets may snap off if you bite into a crisp apple or a piece of ice. Sticky foods have also been known to pull metal brackets out of position. Make sure you avoid eating these as well.
Stop your bad chewing habits
Bad habits like biting your fingernails or chewing on a pen can cause brackets to pop off or wires to bend accidentally. If this is a habit of yours, try to get rid of it or at the very least develop a new habit that keeps your hands occupied, like playing with a fidget spinner.
Biting into certain food can also harm your braces or cause food to become stuck in them. This problem can be avoided by eating with a knife and fork.
Wear a mouthguard
If you participate in sports, you should always wear a mouthguard. The last thing you want is to get something in your mouth and have to go back to your dentist for repairs.
See your dentist regularly
Visiting your dentist on a regular basis will guarantee that your teeth are adequately cared for.
They’ll be able to clean your teeth professionally and detect any warning signs that a problem is developing in your mouth. Your dentist can also resolve the problem before it becomes too serious.
It’s critical to have open lines of communication with your dentist. Even if you don’t have an appointment, calling with questions or concerns can help prevent problems and keep you up to date on how to care for your braces properly.
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene while wearing braces takes extra time and work — there’s no doubt about that. However, finally having that lovely smile you’ve always wanted once the braces are off will make it all worth your while.
Turn to Simcoe Smile Dental for a consult regarding yourdental braces and other dental health concerns. Call us at 905-728-2321 or send us an email at smile[@]simcoesmiledental.com to book an appointment.