Keeping your smile healthy and clean while wearing braces is critical for good oral health.
Whether you’re about to get braces or our Norfolk, MA, dentists Drs. Minda & Shabtai Sapir just recently placed your braces, we know you may have lots of questions about living with and caring for your smile right now. We are always happy to talk you through proper care instructions both for your braces and for caring for teeth and gums while wearing braces. Here are some helpful tips for how to maintain good oral hygiene throughout the orthodontic process.
Carry an Oral Care Kit with You
One of the best ways to keep teeth healthy and clean is to make sure that you travel with a mini dental kit that contains a soft toothbrush, floss threaders (which make it easier to floss around brackets and wires), and an oral rinse. You may wish to put interdental brushes in your kit, which can make it easier to remove food from between teeth and around wires and brackets. Carrying this kit with you will make it easier to keep your teeth clean between meals and snacks, as well as on the go.
Reduce Sugar Consumption
We know how tempting sweet treats are, but if you want to reduce your risk for decay then you’ll want to avoid, or at the very least, limit sugar. We know that this is a good rule of thumb for anyone to follow, but especially if you have bracket-and-wire braces, as eating lots of sugary foods and drinks may increase your risk for cavities. Plus, it may also lead to stains, which no one wants on their big reveal day when their braces finally come off.
Take Time to Brush Properly
When you have braces you’ll need to really take time to ensure that you are getting into all the nooks and crannies, while also being gentle on your braces. Even though braces are made from durable steel, they can still break or become damaged if you are too rough with them. We recommend taking at least five minutes to thoroughly brush your teeth and along the gumline. You should brush once in the morning and again at night, as well as after each meal.
Avoid Certain Foods
Once braces are placed, our Norfolk, MA, family dentists will provide you with a list of foods that you should avoid because they could damage your braces. These foods include anything sticky, crunchy, or hard such as popcorn, baguettes, and bagels, hard or sticky candies, chewing gum, and corn on the cob. Ask our dental team for an extensive list of foods to avoid while wearing braces.
Why is dental hygiene important with braces?
While braces are designed to shift teeth into the proper alignment, they don’t actually do anything to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You have to practice good dental care every day to prevent plaque and tartar buildup, as well as decay. By maintaining good oral hygiene with braces, you prevent bacteria, food particles, and plaque from building up and causing problems that our Norfolk, MA, dentists will then need to treat.
If you are currently wearing braces, it’s important that you are visiting our Norfolk, MA, dental team every 4-6 weeks so we can monitor your treatment progress and also make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy. If you have questions about braces, or how to care for them, simply call Norfolk Family & Pediatric Dentistry at (508) 850-6992.