Managing Your Braces

May 22, 2017

Managing life with braces is something many kids and increasingly more adults must learn to do if they want to reap the benefits of wearing them. Dental braces are designed to straighten crooked teeth, fix spacing issues, and correct overbites and underbites.

Managing braces properly is an important part of the process. If you take good care of your braces, you will have a more comfortable experience, the treatment will be more effective and you will have them taken off sooner.

Braces Management: Brushing and Flossing

If your daily oral hygiene wasn’t up to par prior to getting braces, now is the time to step up your game. It is very important to spend extra time caring for your teeth and gums while managing braces. Brush and floss gently to avoid causing damage to the brackets and wires. Thread floss between teeth, and through braces and wires, very carefully. Always opt for a soft bristled brush and a fluoride toothpaste, and clean your teeth after every meal. While eating with braces, food particles are likely to get trapped between teeth and in the orthodontic hardware, encouraging harmful plaque buildup.

What to Eat with Braces

When you first get your braces, your orthodontist should provide you with a list of foods to avoid. Life with braces involves skipping foods that are hard, sticky or chewy. Gummy candy, caramel, or gum, is likely to get stuck and can cause damage. Hard, crunchy snacks like pretzels or popcorn may get lodged between braces and teeth,and may cause wires to snap. Stick with nutritious foods that are softer and easy to chew.

Along with certain foods, also stay clear of putting any hard items in your mouth and chewing. This includes fingernails, ice, or pencils or pens.

Protecting Braces from Damage

You or your child don’t have to give up the sports you love just because you wear braces. Just take the necessary steps to protect your investment and shield your mouth from harm by always wearing a mouth guard during every practice and at games. It is recommended that sports players who wear braces wear a both a top and bottom mouth guard for complete protection. To ensure the best fit and optimum benefit, have your mouth guards custom-made by your dental professional.