4 Oral Health Tips For Braces Wearers

While good oral hygiene is important all of the time, it's especially essential when you have braces on. A lapse in oral care can result in tooth decay, gingivitis, and tooth discoloration. Check out these tips to help you take care of your teeth and mouth while wearing braces, and schedule regular check-ups with our orthodontic specialists at Studio32 Orthodontics! Contact us today to schedule a consultation or to find out more about what to expect with braces.

Be Careful When Brushing

Whether you're wearing braces or not, you should brush your teeth two to three times a day, or after every meal. While brushing with braces requires a bit more thought, it's not difficult once you get used to it. Depending on what type of braces you have, your orthodontists may have suggested using a specialty brush for braces in addition to your regular toothbrush. This small brush can remove food particles that get stuck between braces where your normal toothbrush can't reach. Be sure to take extra time to brush around brackets and aim to brush at a 45-degree angle from the gumline to get those hard-to-reach spots without damaging your gums. If you have Invisalign® braces instead of traditional metal braces, you can brush your teeth as normal, but make sure to also gently brush your tray to remove any buildup.

Keep Up With Flossing

Another aspect of oral hygiene that becomes more important with braces on is flossing. Flossing with braces can be a bit tricky, but it can be made much easier with a floss threader. Simply thread your floss into the threader, then slip your threader between the brackets and behind the metal wiring. Once the floss is secure between your teeth, you can remove the threader. Repeat for each tooth. As a backup to regular floss, a water flosser can help when you're short on time for flossing. Just be sure to start on a lower setting and gradually work your way up to avoid damaging your gums!

Don't Skip On Dental Visits

While you're wearing your braces, it's important not to skip routine check-ups with your orthodontist and dentist. Both will be able to monitor your progress and ensure that your teeth cleaning routines are working. You should also receive a deep cleaning at least once a year. Talk to your orthodontist about accelerated orthodontics to reduce the amount of time that you have to wear braces.

Watch What You Eat

You probably already know that you should avoid sticky foods and candies while wearing braces, but hard or crunchy foods, such as chips, pretzels, and even raw veggies and large pieces of fruits, should be also avoided. That's because crunchy food can damage brackets or even pop them off, which will require an emergency orthodontic visit to fix. Other foods that can stick in your teeth and braces should also be avoided, including popcorn, nuts, and hard taco shells. Softer foods will not only be gentler on your braces and teeth but can be easier to eat after a braces tightening appointment.