Once you start wearing braces, your life is going to change for a while. You’ll be given a list of foods not to eat, you’ll have special toothbrushes and flosses to use along with rinses that will make it easier to take care of oral health. At first, it may seem a little overwhelming, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Before you know it, you’ll find you’ve become adept at taking proper care of your teeth.
Orthodontist’s provide their patients with detailed instructions, including the following that are regarded as some the best ways take care of their teeth, helping them feel more confident on their journey a more beautiful smile.
Brushing and flossing
Routine brushing with fluoride toothpaste is imperative to your dental well-being, with or without braces. It’s important to brush after each meal (for at least 2 minutes), along with rinsing with a plaque removing mouthwash. It’s also important to brush carefully under wires. Without the proper dental care, food gets lodged in the braces which increases the risk of an oral infection. This may seem excessive, but if you neglect your oral hygiene it can result in severe oral health problems, forcing you to spend even more time in braces, as well as causing unattractive stains on your teeth. You’ll also need to floss your teeth at least once a day.
Tools of the Trade
There are orthodontic tools that will make it much easier to clean the areas located near the wires and brackets. A good example would be a proxabrush or Interdental toothbrush. This tool has a small tuft of brush bristles that looks similar to a pipe cleaner. Using it gently, you’ll be able to clean the hard to get to, tiny spaces around the brackets and bands and under the wires. To make flossing easier, use a floss threader. This tool makes it a lot easier to reach under the archwire area of your braces.
Tenderness and Discomfort
Tenderness and discomfort is fairly common when you initially get your braces and after they are tightened. Rinsing or gargling with warm salt water can help reduce the pain as can pain relievers like ibuprofen, which can be purchased over the counter. Your cheeks, lips and tongue can also become irritated initially, however your orthodontist will be able to give you a special wax that you can use as needed to minimize rubbing.
The initial few days with braces are usually a little rough on your mouth. Eating can also be a bit awkward at first so you’ll want to stick with soft foods for the first several days. As you begin to feel more at ease with your braces, you’ll be able to add basic foods back in. You have to avoid chewy or sticky foods like caramels and chewing gum, hard foods and kernels or seeds that can get stuck in your teeth. You can still eat fruits and vegetables if you cut them up in small pieces, bake or steam them.
Maintaining your oral health today and taking proper care of your braces is an investment in your future, making it possible for you to get the best results from your orthodontic treatment.
Ousama El-Hillal, referred to as Dr. O by patients, staff and friends is an Orthodontist at E&S Orthodontics. He founded E&S Orthodontics with Dr. Saavedra in 2004. He is driven to create Wide Beautiful Smiles Without Extractions.