Our Guide To Caring For Braces
Living with braces is not an easy thing to adjust to at first. A lot of foods you may have enjoyed prior to having braces are suddenly not edible anymore because they could cause more damage. At our Berwick dental clinic, we want to make sure you have the best experience possible whilst wearing braces, so we’ve outlined several steps below to help you maintain and keep your braces in tip-top condition.
The basics: brushing
Brushing is something you should be doing even if you don’t have braces, but it is more crucial to implement this practice whilst wearing braces. It does also become a bit trickier to brush with braces on.
Here are some easy-to-follow steps that will assist you with everyday braces care at home:
- The first thing you’ll want to do is take off any removable parts such as elastics before attempting to brush.
- Cleaning the braces themselves comes next. A soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended for effectiveness (electric toothbrushes are fine too). Take your time whilst you gently remove any plaque or food. Start from the top of each individual wire and make your way down to the bottom.
- After your braces are clean, you can move onto your teeth. Employ circular motions on each tooth, starting at the gum line. Angle the brush as you see fit to cover the appropriate areas.
- After rinsing, double-check in the mirror to make sure there are no bits of food still stuck anywhere in your teeth or braces.
The basics: flossing
Flossing helps remove small food particles that have become stuck between your teeth, as well as removing any build-up of plaque. You should still be flossing once a day, but there are just some extra things to keep in mind now that you’re wearing braces.
It is important to use waxed floss as it is less likely to catch on your braces. Thread it gently between two teeth, moving it back and forth, before removing it and moving on to the next one. Professionals at our Berwick dental clinic are more than happy to show you the correct way in person if you require any further assistance.
There are also flossing products that can be used specifically by people with braces, such as dental tape, floss threaders and an interdental brush. It is important – like with brushing – to be gentle when flossing so you don’t damage your braces or cause yourself any further pain. A perk of using an interdental brush is that because it’s actually a brush, it has a sturdy handle you can hold whilst using it, giving you better overall control.
How often to visit the dentist
After your braces are initially installed it is recommended you visit our Berwick dental clinic approximately once a month so that we may check that everything is going well and there are no cavities or signs of gum diseases.
We will also answer any questions you may have for us, as well as help you understand ways to take care of your braces at home. A fluoride treatment is something that we may recommend, as fluoride helps strengthen teeth and also prevents cavities.
Don’t eat that!
Any hard foods that require you to bite down with your front teeth are off-limits with braces, such as jerky, popcorn or hard lollies. Sticky foods like liquorice or bubble-gum are also bad for braces as they can get stuck in the braces causing the process to take longer as well as causing you pain.
Stay away from the following foods:
- Hard/crunchy foods – including ice, popcorn, pretzels, and nuts. The hardness of the food can damage your braces and cause a bracket to come loose, causing the braces to be ineffective.
- Chewy foods – such as bagels, pizza crust, cheese, and granola bars. The more your mouth has to work to chew the foods, the more pain will be caused, not to mention the pieces of food that will become stuck in your braces when it comes to foods like cheese and soft lollies.
- Any food you use your front teeth to bite into – including corn, chocolate, apples, and raw vegetables. Using your front teeth will also damage your braces as well as cause you pain.
There are some ways to work around limitations for a lot of these foods, however. For example, meats and vegetables – if cooked well and chopped into small pieces – are still able to be eaten slowly.
We offer a range of dental services including braces and orthodontics fittings. If you’re in need of braces or have any further questions in relation to the topic, please do not hesitate to contact our Berwick Dental Clinic on (03) 9702 6111, or fill out one of our online forms here.