Oral Hygiene is a Must with Braces!
Maintaining great oral hygiene is ALWAYS important but it’s especially important when you have braces! Make sure you’re brushing and flossing after every meal and snack to prevent plaque build up around your brackets.
When you get your braces off, we want your straight teeth to be healthy too! Sometimes food can get stuck in braces and between your teeth so please brush after every meal. Bring a travel toothbrush and toothpaste to school or work!
Use a soft toothbrush with firm pressure and brush at a 45 degree angle to the tooth. Brush in small circles above and below the brackets. Because of your braces, your toothbrush will wear out faster so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A waterpik and interplak toothbrushes are useful tools. We also recommend Sonicare toothbrushes.
Brushing Quick Tips:
- Use a toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste
- Use circular, vibrating motions around the gumline for about 10 seconds on each tooth
- Brush every tooth slowly
- Brush the lower teeth up and the upper teeth down. Also, brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
Floss every day! The floss threaders are reusable. A waterpik can sometimes be helpful too.
Flossing Quick Tips:
- Carefully pull waxed floss between wire and braces
- Floss carefully around braces
- Floss carefully around the gum area
- Floss around each tooth
Foods to Avoid
Having braces means there are a few foods you need to stay away from. Hard, sticky and chewy foods can break or damage your appliances which can delay treatment time! We know it can be a bit of an adjustment but trust us, it WILL be worth it!
Hard foods can bend wires and break brackets. Some examples of hard foods to avoid are:
- Corn nuts
- Hard candies
- Hard fruits – like apples – unless you cut them up first
- Hard veggies – like carrots – unless you cut them very thin
- Hard rolls, bagels or French bread
- Ribs or meat on the bone
- Corn on the cob – unless it’s cut off the cob
- Hard pizza crust
- Hard chips
- Popcorn that is not TOTALLY popped, but even then, watch out!
- Hard taco shells
- Ice, ice baby. Don’t chew on ice! It’s strictly forbidden!
Sticky foods can bend wires, loosen brackets, looken the cement holding the brackets on your teeth and even pull the brackets right off your teeth! Some examples of sticky foods to avoid are:
- Sugar Daddies
- Candy apples
- Now & Laters (try Not and Never!)
- Peanut brittle
If you steer clear of these types of restricted foods and maintain proper oral hygiene throughout treatment, your braces will be off in no time to reveal that big, beautiful smile that will WOW everyone!
About Orthodontic Rubber Bands
Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day.
Any time missed in wearing your elastics will only make your treatment take longer, so remember: if you lose your rubber bands, call us so we can mail you some more or drop by the office and pick some up.
Remember These Things
You are responsible for placing the elastics on your braces between appointments. Make sure to wear them as instructed. Remove them only when brushing your teeth, gums and braces after meals. Then put them back on immediately.
Always carry a few elastics with you, so if one breaks you can replace it right away. If your supply is low, call the office and we will mail you an additional supply of elastics.
If you forget to insert your elastics one day, don’t double up the next day — just follow your regular instructions.
Elastics become worn out. When they lose their elasticity, they don’t provide the proper pressure on your teeth and jaws. It is very important to change them as directed, even when they are not broken.
Don't Go Without Elastics
If your elastics break frequently, a wire or band loosens, or a hook breaks off — call our office immediately. Don’t wait until your next appointment. These problems need to be corrected as soon as possible!