Protecting your teeth and gums is essential in completing your orthodontic treatment, especially to get those straight pearly whites you’ve been yearning for. Keep in mind that braces make it harder to eat some of your favorite foods and keep your teeth clean.
That means hard candies, and tough fibrous fruits and vegetables, can be difficult to chew. This is particularly true in the days after every orthodontic appointment involving adjustments. Plus, food bits and bacteria can remain in your mouth, which leads to plaque accumulation.
Without proper care and maintenance, that plaque can lead to sensitive enamel, and even cavities. The best thing you can do to protect your teeth and gums is to be informed on the best tips and tricks for a successful treatment with braces.
Whether you are considering getting braces sometime soon, or already on the journey to perfect pearly whites, Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry can be your go-to source for all your dental adventures. We aim to maintain an up-to-date blog with information to help you grow strong, healthy teeth, at every stage.
Read on to learn about the types of foods to avoid during your treatment, and how best to care for your braces.
Foods to Avoid With Braces
Following the days after your orthodontist makes an adjustment to your braces, you may feel discomfort and pressure, especially on the gums. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate the pain, and eating soft or pureed foods will facilitate mealtime.
Avoid foods like popcorn, gum, and sticky or hard candy, as they can cause brackets to break off or even bend wires.
Braces can make it difficult to bite straight into hard or fibrous foods, so focus on pre-cutting or pre-portioning your meals and snacks.
If you are being treated with clear plastic aligners, you should always remove them before eating, and ensure your teeth are clean prior to putting them back on. The same goes for elastics. Eating with elastics in place may force a bracket to pop off, even if you open and close your jaw carefully to chew.
Properly Caring for Your Braces
Caring for your braces at home can take a bit of getting used to. You aren’t just cleaning your teeth and gums any more, you are caring for the brackets and wires. In fact, braces can attract food and bacteria like it’s nobody’s business.
You’ll have to be gentle when brushing, so that you don’t hurt yourself or your braces. When brushing, follow these helpful tips:
- Always brush with fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
- Use gentle, circular motions, when making your way across your mouth with a toothbrush.
- Brush the inside and outside surfaces of your teeth, making sure to focus on each individual tooth.
- Angle the brush at 45 degrees and brush along the gum line. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth making sure not to miss any.
- To brush the braces, slightly press your toothbrush into your teeth so the bristles spread into all those nooks and crannies that are harboring bacteria.
- If you are in the later stages of your treatment, you may be using elastics to adjust your bite. Make sure to remove them to facilitate reaching the back of your mouth when you brush and floss.
Your orthodontist will likely provide you with special tools to floss your teeth while wearing braces. You can also find small looped flossing at any store that carries general dental products. Wax is also another must-have for those pokey wires that the orthodontist can’t seem to find and trim.
Your gums and cheeks may feel extra sensitive from rubbing against the metal brackets. That’s when a little ball of wax will work wonders in providing some relief.
If It’s Broke, Fix It
Caring for your braces means taking the time to regularly clean your teeth by brushing and flossing carefully. Accidents do happen, and an incident of a fallen bracket or bent wire will eventually come up during the course of your treatment.
Damaged braces means more appointments with the orthodontist, and an extension on the time of treatment, but you should not avoid seeing your orthodontist until your next scheduled appointment. If you feel a bracket come loose or snap off, notify your parent(s) or guardian(s) immediately. You’ll need to see your orthodontist right away to get everything back in place.
At times, it may feel like your braces are too much of a hassle, but believe us – they are definitely worth it in the end.
You’ll be glad you invested the time and effort once you see those metal brackets and wires come off to reveal a perfectly new smile.
Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry
We pride ourselves in being your Rio Grande Valley pediatric dentistry of choice. With this in mind, Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry now offers services beyond pediatric dental care. We provide orthodontic treatment with braces for little heroes and adults alike! Call us today to schedule an appointment and get started on your orthodontic treatment.