So you got braces – how exciting! This is one of the biggest milestones on your way to getting the smile you deserve. Taking care of your braces is a two-way street, and YOUR active participation is every bit as important as the doctors role. We’ll take care of your teeth during every appointment, but here’s how to care for your smile between visits.
Tip #1: Eat the Right Foods
…and avoid the wrong ones!
It is probably no surprise that watching what you chew is a major part of keeping your braces safe between appointments. Eating the right foods means sticking to softer items, and avoiding items that are hard, crunchy or sticky to prevent from breakage.
Not all foods are safe, however, and it’s extremely important to avoid them at all costs if you want to keep your treatment on track. Each broken bracket or wire can add up to 2 months to your treatment schedule on average – and that’s a long time! Not to mention, the more brackets you brake, the more costs you can incur to fix them! Avoiding biting directly into your food and staying away from hard snacks are the best ways to protect your braces.
Still not sure what to eat? Here’s a list of examples straight from the WOW! Smiles™ team!
|Safe to Chew
|Not for You
Corn on the cob
Tip #2: Brush Your Teeth
…and brush them properly!
Imagine you move into a new home with a clean carpet. You need somewhere to sit, so you bring in a couch. No big deal, right? Now imagine years later when you decide to rearrange your living room. You pick up the couch, and what do you see? It’s the color your carpet used to be!
That’s exactly what could happen to your teeth if you don’t spend the right amount of time learning how to brush them with braces properly. Over time, poor brushing habits could lead to spotty or even yellowed teeth, and that’s not the picture-perfect finish you want to have. Not to mention, without the help of good oral hygiene and routine visits to your Dentist, you may have to wear braces for a longer period.
Between your appointments at WOW! Smiles™, use these simple steps to avoid yellow or white spots:
- Rinse your mouth with water to remove leftover food particles – yuck!
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to brush both the exposed parts of your teeth, the brackets, and your gumline. You’ll need to spend about five seconds brushing each tooth or 30 seconds on each section of your mouth. That adds up to about two to three minutes of brushing time in total. Make sure you don’t cut corners!
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue! It is essential to brush your entire mouth to get rid of bacteria that cause plaque buildup and bad breath.
Tip #3: Exercise Self-Care
…by using the tools in your home care kit!
After an adjustment appointment with your WOW! Smiles™ orthodontist, your mouth might feel a little sore. That’s a natural part of the process – and we promise it will go away soon – but it isn’t always fun. When the going gets tough, make sure you have a toolkit at your side to get you through until your next appointment.
When we apply your braces, we send you home with a care kit. This kit includes items like floss threaders and proxabrushes that help you care for your teeth with braces. One of the most important items in the kit is orthodontic wax! You can use a small amount to apply over any irritating brackets or wires. It will protect your cheeks and gums from any sores and help you feel better quickly!
If you’re struggling with soreness, you can also use over-the-counter pain medication. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and take the recommended dose!
Tip #4: Avoid Orthodontic Injuries
…and call us immediately if you have an emergency!
Taking care of your braces means making the right choices with your own protection in mind. Remember, braces are made of metal, so playing rough sports or acting recklessly can cause orthodontic injuries. We suggest wearing protective gear such as a mouth guard to prevent from injuries while in braces. Be as careful as possible with your orthodontic appliance so you can stay safe and smile happily.
Unfortunately, even for the most careful patients, accidents happen. If you have an orthodontic emergency like a broken bracket or wire (or in the worst case, a broken tooth), please don’t hesitate to give our office a call immediately to schedule an emergency appointment. We will see you as soon as possible to ensure you are comfortable and your treatment stays on track!
Start the Path to Your WOW! Smile™
Taking care of your smile with braces comes with a lot of rules, we know, but they will all be worth it in the end if you follow them correctly! Remember, your smile is worth the work & effort! Keep these tips in mind to make sure you’re smile looks and feels great between visits, and we’ll see you at your next appointment! For information about getting started with braces and maintaining your smile in between visit:
Check out our Getting Started or Keys to Ortho Success for more information if you haven’t started treatment yet, what’s holding you back? Don’t wait – schedule your free consultation at WOW! Smiles™ today! Call us at 800-915-2884