To state the obvious: braces straighten your teeth, improve your jaw alignment, and better your dental health. We’re dentists, we know all about braces and the ins and outs of treatment. There are certain top tips on how to get the best out of your braces during your treatment time, and we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t share them with you! Here’s how to get the most of your braces.
Teeth whitening and braces don’t mix well
During your treatment with braces, make sure you avoid teeth whitening products and procedures for the duration. This includes whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash, and any at-home or in-practice treatments you might be considering. Your brace brackets are glued to your teeth with a strong dental adhesive which keeps them sturdy and working well, but these brackets obviously cover a circular section of your tooth. Whitening agents work on the surface of your teeth, so if a part of them is hidden then the product can’t work there. The product can’t penetrate the brackets or somehow find a way underneath, so when you have your braces removed you’ll find discoloured dots on your teeth! It’s an honest mistake to make, but patients still do make it, so keep an eye on what dental hygiene products you’re using and their ingredients!
Step by step: cleaning your teeth with braces
Step 1: Rinse your mouth around with water before brushing to dislodge some of the chunkier food particles. Removing these bigger chunks makes brushing the rest of your teeth a little easier, allowing to see smaller food debris tucked away.
Step 2: Brush your teeth with a regular toothbrush then use a spoolie-style brush to get in any gaps. These brushes fit in between your wires and provide much more precise for stubborn or tucked away bits of food that your regular brushing has missed or failed to reach. These kinds of brushes are available in most high-street health and beauty shops but ask your orthodontist for guidance if you’re not sure!
Step 3: Floss using a special brace-friendly flossing tool. These look like a plastic needle or lasso that hook the dental floss around your teeth. These are available in most high-street stores, too, but we’ll give you a helping hand should you need it.
Foods that are bad for your braces
Unfortunately, fixed braces can mean limiting some aspects of your diet for a short while. It’s all worth it in the end, though, when you have a beautiful smile to show off. Try to steer clear of hard, crunchy, gooey, and sticky foods. These kinds of foods are likely to get lodged in your braces, pull on or snap the wires, and push your brackets out of place. Broken wires and dislodged brackets could be sharp and cause a lot of discomfort, not to mention they will need an appointment to fix them.
Try to avoid:
- Chewy foods: toffee, caramel, chewing gum, bagels
- Crunchy foods: crusty bread, whole un-chopped apples, and carrots
- Hard foods: nuts, ice cubes
Always brush your teeth!
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is always important, we admit, but it’s doubly as important with braces. Fixed braces add uneven surfaces to your teeth, with brackets and wires creating more opportunities for food to become stuck. This food debris attracts bacteria which feast on it, producing harmful toxins that attack your protective enamel. This could lead to cavities, but when hardened into plaque it could also bring about the onset of gum disease. More attentive brushing it needed when you wear braces, but like we say it’s all worth it when you have a brand-new smile transformation!
Make an appointment with our orthodontist in Stourbridge to straighten your teeth with braces today. Enquire online or speak to a member of our team on 01384 376336 to book your first appointment and consultation.