Cleanliness is Next to AWESOMENESS
We know that undergoing orthodontic treatment can be a big change- but it will be worth it! To get your braces off on time, it’s important that you maintain proper oral hygiene throughout treatment and avoid foods that will cause damage to your braces. Broken brackets and wires and poor oral hygiene can delay your treatment. We know you don’t want that! See below for some helpful hints.
Brushing and flossing is a little tricky with braces, but it’s more important than ever! When you get your braces off, we want your straight teeth to be white! Food gets stuck in braces and between your teeth so it’s important to brush after EVERY meal!
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. Your toothbrush will wear out faster because of your appliances so be sure to replace it whenever the bristles start to fray. A waterpik can be a useful addition but it cannot remove the sticky plaque that adheres to teeth. Interplak toothbrushes are great. 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. Also, a waterpik can sometimes be useful.
Flossing Quick Tips:
- Carefully pull waxed floss between wire and braces
- Floss carefully around the braces
- Floss carefully around the gum area
- Floss around each tooth
- View the Flossing Instructional Video for help flossing with braces
Foods to Avoid
Sticky foods can bend your wires, loosen brackets, loosen the cement holding the brackets and even pull them right off your teeth. Not sure what qualifies as a sticky food? Some examples are:
- Sugar Daddies
- Candy Apples
- Now and Laters (try NOT and NEVER!)
- Peanut Brittle
Hard foods can bend wires and break brackets. Some examples of hard foods are:
- Corn nuts
- Hard candies
- Hard fruits – like applies – unless cut 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. Don’t chew on ice. It’s strictly forbidden!
True orthodontic emergencies are very rare. However, if they do occur, we are here to help you. Braces are delicate and must be taken care of in order to prevent damage to them. Sometimes, things happen and something breaks. Please watch the video below to better understand the parts to your braces. It is important to know what to do if you have problems with any of the braces components. The following are some of the common problems that occur and what to do about them.
Loose Band or Bracket
If you have a loose band or bracket and it is attached to the wire, leave it in place. If it is uncomfortable, place wax on it until you can come in to the office to get it fixed. If it comes out completely, put the bracket or band in a ziploc and bring it to your next appointment.
Occasionally, the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate the cheeks. Use a Q-tip or penil eraser to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover if with relief wax. Please call our office to make us aware of the issue.
Lost Appliance or Retainer
If you lose any appliance or retainer, please call our office as soon as you can so that treatment will not be delayed.
If you have any issues with any parts of your braces or have questions, please call our office. We would be happy to assist you. Paying attention to your braces and taking immediate action when there is a problem, will help keep your treatment on schedule.