Braces Care 101: Pro Tips for a Healthy Mouth
Mastering proper braces care allows for a smooth transition to the perfect smile. By prioritizing the maintenance of your braces, you can maintain a healthy mouth for the duration of your orthodontic treatment and stay clear of pesky complications like gingivitis or teeth discoloration. By investing a little extra effort into your braces care, you pave the way for the best possible results from your treatment.
Daily Oral Hygiene Routine
Establishing a consistent daily oral hygiene routine is essential during braces treatment. While it’s something that should be prioritized regardless if you have braces or not, it’s especially important for those with braces since the brackets and wires create little spaces where food particles and plaque love to hide. By establishing a solid routine and utilizing the appropriate tools, you can effectively combat plaque build-up and keep your teeth and gums in excellent condition.
Regular and thorough brushing is the foundation of braces care. Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush with a small head for better maneuverability. Gently brush each tooth using small circular motions to reach all the nooks and crannies. Be sure to pay special attention to the spaces in between the brackets and diligently brush along the gum line to tackle any trapped food particles.
Flossing becomes a bit more challenging with braces, but it is still crucial for removing plaque and food debris from between your teeth. Traditional floss might be difficult to maneuver, so consider using an orthodontic floss threader or a reusable floss threader. This handy tool allows you to navigate the floss under the wire easily, making it easier to reach tight spaces. Be patient and take your time, ensuring that you clean between each tooth thoroughly.
Waterpiks and More!
In addition to brushing and flossing, incorporating other tools into your oral hygiene routine can further enhance your braces care. A water flosser, such as a Waterpik, can be highly beneficial in removing debris from hard-to-reach areas. The pulsating water stream dislodges food particles and plaque effectively, providing an extra level of cleanliness for your braces. Interdental brushes can also be useful for cleaning between brackets and wires, complementing your oral care routine. Consult with your orthodontist regarding additional devices that assist with oral hygiene while wearing braces.
Eating with Braces
When it comes to caring for your braces, it’s not just about maintaining their cleanliness but also safeguarding them from potential damage. One common cause of braces damage is consuming hard or crunchy foods. Therefore, adjusting your eating habits becomes a crucial aspect of braces care. To help you make informed dietary choices and protect your braces from harm, here are some basic guidelines to follow:
1. Avoid sticky and hard foods: Sticky substances like caramel and taffy can get stuck in your braces, making cleaning difficult. Hard foods, such as nuts and hard candies, can potentially break or dislodge brackets or wires. Steer clear of these items to prevent complications.
2. Cut food into smaller pieces: When consuming crunchy or fibrous foods like apples or carrots, cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces to minimize the stress on your braces. This approach allows you to enjoy a varied diet while protecting your orthodontic hardware.
3. Be mindful of your chewing technique: Avoid biting directly into foods with your front teeth, as this can place excessive pressure on the brackets and wires. Instead, use your back teeth to chew, distributing the force more evenly and reducing the risk of damaging your braces.
Managing Discomfort and Pain
It’s not uncommon to experience mild discomfort or pain with braces, especially during the first few days or following adjustments. Effectively managing discomfort is a vital aspect of braces care, as it plays a role in ensuring your overall well-being and comfort. There are several strategies you can implement to manage these sensations and ensure a more comfortable experience.
Over-the-counter pain relievers
Non-prescription pain medications, such as ibuprofen, can help alleviate any discomfort caused by the braces. Keep in mind that pain relievers should only be used as a temporary solution and not relied upon as a long-term fix. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage and, if the pain persists or becomes extreme, consult your orthodontist. They will be able to provide the best course of action to address any ongoing pain or discomfort you may be experiencing.
Using orthodontic wax
At times, braces can cause discomfort by rubbing against the sides of your mouth. To alleviate any irritation or soreness, you can apply orthodontic wax to any protruding wires or rough spots on your braces. Simply roll a small piece of wax between your fingers and press it onto the bothersome area. The application of wax smoothes the surface, preventing further chafing and providing much-needed relief.
Rinsing with warm saltwater
Rinsing your mouth with a saltwater mixture can help reduce inflammation and offer a soothing effect on your gums and mouth. If your braces are causing slight irritation, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and gently swish the mixture around your mouth. After about 30-60 seconds spit out the solution. Repeat this 2-3 times daily for optimal results.
Visiting the Orthodontist Regularly
Regular visits to your orthodontist are another essential aspect of braces care. These appointments allow your orthodontist to monitor your progress, make necessary adjustments, and address any concerns or issues that may arise. Attending these appointments as scheduled ensures your treatment stays on track and your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout the process. Your orthodontist will guide you on how often you need to come in for check-ups based on your specific treatment plan.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With Frey Orthodontics Today
At Frey Orthodontics, we recognize that caring for your braces requires commitment, but the final outcome is undoubtedly worth the effort. That’s why we strive to equip our patients with the necessary tools and expertise to effectively maintain their braces. To embark on this exciting path, call now or schedule a free consultation at our Algonquin or Naperville office and let us guide you towards a confident and beautiful smile.