Straightening your teeth with braces means you will need to adopt a regular daily routine to care for them. For the best chance of success, it’s important that you work with your orthodontist to keep up with your treatment plan. You will also need to be diligent about caring for your braces. Here are some tips on what your daily routine should look like.
Daily Brushing & Flossing With Braces
When your braces are fully installed, Dr. Reddick will talk to you about the proper toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash to use. Certain ingredients in some brands of toothpaste and mouthwash can damage or stain your metal braces. It’s important that you follow your Melbourne orthodontist’s advice on the products you use for your braces.
Brushing your teeth with braces will be a different experience than you’re accustomed to. You need to take extra care when brushing to avoid damaging the wire or brackets. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and remember to brush with gentle pressure. Angle the brush along the gums to remove food particles. Brush the front and back of each tooth. Use specialized picks to clean hard-to-reach places where food can accumulate. Rinsing your mouth throughout the day with water can help to keep food particles removed as well.
For daily flossing, use either floss picks or regular string floss. Floss in front of a mirror to see what you’re doing. Guide the floss under the wire and remember not to pull on the floss when it’s underneath a wire. The main focus of flossing should be to remove food debris under the gumline, which prevents gingivitis.
Rinse with mouthwash when your daily brushing and flossing routine is finished. It can be helpful to carry a box of floss in your pocket throughout the day in case you need it.
Use an Oral Irrigator
An oral irrigator is a useful tool to purchase to care for your braces. This machine rests on the bathroom sink, so its tank can be filled with fresh water every time it’s used. The irrigator’s wand is shaped similar to a toothbrush and is used to flush extra food bits and debris. An oral irrigator doesn’t need to be used every single time that you brush your teeth. It’s simply an extra tool that can be used once a week to keep your teeth and braces extra clean.
Diet and Caring for Your Braces
Your orthodontist will discuss changes to your diet and the foods and drinks you should avoid while undergoing treatment with braces. These are the main foods and drinks that can cause problems with your teeth and braces:
- Sticky candies like caramel or candy bars
- Raw vegetables
- Hard nuts like almonds or walnuts
- Bagels, which are too hard and chewy
- Crunchy snacks like chips
- Apples, pears or other hard raw fruits
- Tough, chewy or stringy meats
- Peanut butter
- Coffee, tea, soda and fruit juices
Our staff will provide you with literature that has a more complete list of foods and beverages that should be avoided to take better care of your braces. When your braces are first installed, your diet should consist of only soft foods that won’t irritate your gums or tongue. It takes a few days initially to adjust to the braces, but after that point you can follow the diet provided by your orthodontist.
Keep All of Your Appointments
It’s important to stay on the schedule that your orthodontist recommends for the adjustment of your braces. The adjustments are what keeps your teeth shifting until they reach the final desired position. You will get used to the appointments and they will soon feel like just another part of your routine.
One final thing to note is that if your braces ever become damaged for any reason, or if a wire is dislodged, call your orthodontist in Melbourne immediately. The braces need to be repaired to avoid injuring the soft tissues in the mouth. It is also important to keep the normal amount of pressure from the braces on your teeth.