The goal of orthodontic treatment is to straighten teeth that are overlapping or misaligned. Getting braces involves having tiny brackets and wires on your teeth, which may make dental care a little more challenging. Here are some braces care tips to help you get the best results in your orthodontic treatment while keeping your braces intact and your smile healthy.
1. Avoid hard food that may damage your braces
You should be especially careful right after installation of your braces and following each periodic adjustment by your orthodontist. Consider eating soft foods that are easy to chew initially, then resume your normal diet a few days after treatment.
Hard and crunchy food may damage your braces. This includes food such as seeds, nuts, frozen food, popcorn and beef jerky. These types of foods may be hard to chew or get caught in your braces, which could damage the wires and loosen the brackets. Even healthy foods like carrots and apples should be avoided in the first couple of days because they may dislodge your braces if you bite into them with your front teeth.
Cutting your food into smaller bite-size pieces will make it easier to chew slowly with your back molars. Avoid crunching on ice cubes completely, and be mindful if you have the habit of crushing ice cubes while having a cold drink.
Sticky foods such as toffee, caramels, or chewing gum should also be avoided. These items will stick to your braces and get caught in them. Avoid sugary foods and drinks in general, since oral bacteria thrives on sugary foods which produce the acids that erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. Sticky foods adhere to your teeth longer, which promotes further tooth decay. If you consume any sugary drinks, consider using a straw to help minimize exposure to your teeth.
2. Brush and floss your teeth and braces daily
You will not regret putting in the time and effort to keep your teeth and braces clean during your orthodontic treatments. You may avoid such problems as tooth decay, gum inflammation, and tooth decalcification. Decalcification is the removal of calcium ions from your tooth surface, which may lead to white spots being left behind on your teeth once your braces are removed.
3. Make sure to have regular check-ups with your dentist for professional cleanings
While you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, you should maintain your regular dental visits to keep the brackets clean and to help avoid potential problems with cavities, tooth decay or gingivitis.
Our expert Charleston County orthodontist and highly trained staff at Reese Orthodontics, are eager to join you on the journey to a healthier and happier smile. To request your appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable orthodontist, Dr. Reese, please contact us.