Wearing braces requires discipline and patience, and the road toward a dazzling smile is bound to be a hard one. Despite the difficulties, however, wearing these orthodontic appliances is eventually going to be worth it. Not only do you get a perfectly straight set of teeth at the end of your treatment, but you also prevent bigger problems from developing later.
Home Care Tips for Braces
When wearing braces supplied by your regular Denver orthodontist, it’s important to understand that proper oral care at home should strictly be observed. Braces create small nooks and crannies for food deposits which, if not taken care of, could lead to tooth decay and gum problems. Thus, proper home care is the best way for you to keep your orthodontic treatment on schedule—possibly even shorten it. Proper care will likewise contribute to the long-term health of your teeth and gums.
In a Dear Doctor article, Dr. Terri Tillis lists the steps you need to include in your daily oral hygiene routine to ensure the best outcome of your treatment.
- Brushing when wearing braces requires cleaning both above and below the wire that runs through the brackets. A soft, multi-tufted, microfine bristle brush that will reach easily in all areas is recommended.
- Cleaning between teeth can be accomplished with special floss holders and threaders, as well as very small “interdental” brushes. There is evidence that orthodontic patients who floss have healthier, less inflamed gums than those who don’t, although flossing with braces is time-consuming.
- Fluoride products have proven effective in preventing decay and “decalcification,” the early loss of tooth enamel that can precede cavity formation in the decay process. Toothpastes containing fluoride are important in reducing these conditions.
- Mouth rinses are available to help reduce biofilm and gingivitis (gum inflammation). There are many over-the-counter and prescription products available.
What About Food?
People with braces should avoid sugary and starchy foods that may cause tooth decay. They should also avoid chewing sticky foods because these could get stuck to the brace wires and might be impossible to remove completely. You need to eat your vegetables and fruits, but some can be tricky to eat with braces on. To prevent damage to the wires, be sure to cut them into bite-sized chunks before eating.
Take special care of your teeth during orthodontic treatment. By following the tips above, you’ll see that your extra efforts will be rewarded when your braces come off. Don’t forget to check with your Denver orthodontist once in a while, or as scheduled, to ensure your treatment proceeds as planned.
(Source: Caring For Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment, Dear Doctor Magazine)