It's important to take proper care of your braces. Not only will caring for your braces ensure your comfort in braces, but caring for your braces helps you stay on track in your treatment as well.
Brushing and Flossing
While in orthodontic treatment, your brushing and flossing must be regular to avoid damage to your braces, teeth, or gums. Here's what you can do maintain good brushing and flossing:
1.) Brush three times a day, for two minutes each time. We recommend using an electric toothbrush with a timer. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, and your gum line while holding your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle. Use your interproximal brush to get the hard to reach portions under your archwire. We recommend brushing after each meal you have, so that no food debris sits on your brackets or teeth. After brushing, rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash.
2.) Floss daily. Use your floss and floss threaders to floss above and below your archwire. Regular flossing is the only way to thoroughly clean the spaces in between teeth. Oral irrigators are helpful tools to assist the cleaning of your braces, but cannot replace flossing.
3.) Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head at least every three months, or after you have been sick.
Eating in Braces
While in treatment, it's imperative to avoid foods that are sticky, chewy, gummy, gooey, or crunchy; this includes candies like Airheads or Sour Patch Kids, crunchy snacks like Doritos and raw vegetables, and foods that will get stuck in your braces like popcorn. When eating meat, ensure that the meat is stripped from any bone to avoid biting the bone and damaging your braces, do this with corn on the cob as well. Right after your initial bonding of your braces, eat soft foods only for the first 48 hours. During the first 48 hours, your bracket glue is not fully set, and may come off if you eat hard food. Soft foods will also help quell any tenderness you experience in your teeth or gums. You may be wondering, what soft foods should I eat after bonding? Some good choices are pancakes, eggs, steamed or soft vegetables, macaroni & cheese, shredded meat, tofu, and mashed potatoes. Most soft desserts like ice cream, pudding, Jell-O, gelato, sorbet, and popsicles are a tasty means of soothing soreness from your braces.
Life in Braces
You may have to adjust to certain activities after you get your braces on. Speaking and singing may feel strange after braces, but your mouth should quickly adjust. If you play an instrument that requires your mouth, you may need a small adjustment period to return to normal. For our patients that play sports, we recommend wearing a mouth guard while you play to protect your braces and teeth.