If you are getting braces soon, or already have them, your orthodontist will explain the importance of dental hygiene while wearing braces. With the brackets and wires attached to your teeth, they create the perfect environment for plaque and food to build up on your teeth. In order to avoid further dental issues, it is very important to maintain excellent oral hygiene both at home and through professional cleanings. Here are a few tips you can refer to when caring for your teeth and braces.
Most orthodontists, dentists, and hygienists advise patients with braces to brush their teeth after every meal and snack with a soft electric toothbrush to remove any trapped food particles and to prevent plaque build up. You do not want to use a medium or hard bristle brush or apply too much pressure with your soft toothbrush, or you can risk damaging the wires and brackets.
If you weren’t a flosser before getting braces, you will definitely want to become one. It is more difficult to floss once wearing braces, but you need to keep working at it until you find a way to successfully floss between each tooth to avoid decay and prolonged orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist will suggest the use of a floss threader to get into tight spots and apply a gentle back, forth, up and down scraping motion. You can also use interdental brushes to get in between brackets and wires, just be careful with the amount of pressure you use to avoid damage.
There are also some foods that you should try to avoid, some can be very damaging to the hardware or can stick to the wires and brackets and be very hard to remove. Foods that are hard, sticky or chewy should be avoided, such as:
- Corn On The Cob
- Hard Pretzels
- Raw Carrots
It can seem like a lot of information when you first begin your treatment, so always feel free to give our office a call at 512-337-2325 or ask Doc Ak at your next appointment.