How to Take Care of Your Braces
October 7, 2013 – Glendale, Arizona
Braces consist of a system of brackets, bands and wires to reposition teeth into an aesthetically pleasing and healthy bite. Wearing braces may be uncomfortable at first, but within a few days most people cease to even notice them. If the wires or brackets cause irritation at first your dentist has wax available to cover anything that’s irritating your mouth. Using lip balm may also keep you more comfortable.
Items needed to care for your braces:
- Folding Toothbrush
- Floss Threader
- Anti-cavity Mouthwash
Most people begin by flossing, which is the part that takes the most practice with braces, since the wire is in the way of simply pressing the floss down between the teeth. Thread the floss into the eye of the floss threader as though threading a needle. At the gum line between two teeth, push the thin floss threader through the space between the teeth pulling the floss along with it. Continue pulling the floss all the way through. Now you have flossed two teeth, so continue on in the same way until you have flossed all of your teeth.
The next step is brushing, which you already know how to do, but with braces there are a few differences. Because you have brackets and wires affixed to your teeth you must learn to maneuver around them to clean your teeth, and also to clean the brackets. When brushing the inside and outside of the teeth try holding the toothbrush angled toward the gum line. When brushing the chewing surface of the teeth use the same back and forth motion as usual since the brackets should not affect this area. Finally, gently brush the brackets to remove any food residue and bacteria. In all you should brush your teeth for a minimum of three minutes.
After flossing the use of a waterpick is very helpful to remove any remaining bacteria between the teeth. Place the waterpick at the gum line between teeth, point it in a level line, and do not angle it down toward the gum. Move from tooth to tooth until you have cleaned between all teeth.
For a final rinse, a mouthwash is recommended. There are many types on the market today, look for a kind that says it does it all, kills bacteria, removes plaque, strengthens tooth enamel, and prevents cavities. These steps will take about ten minutes, so save it for a bedtime routine. That way it also affords your teeth a solid eight hours without bacteria causing food bombarding them.
For people wearing braces in Arrowhead it’s more important than usual to brush after every meal. Braces offer extra hiding places for food particles and plaque formation. It’s a good idea to carry a folding toothbrush with you and check out your smile after eating to avoid being seen with food hanging from your braces.
To further care for your braces, avoid biting into hard foods such as raw carrots, apples, nuts and popcorn. Some others to be careful with are hard pizza crusts, chips and pretzels. These foods can break wires. The worst of these you may want to avoid completely, while you may not have trouble with others if you break or cut them into small bites. In addition you should avoid chewing gum and gummy or gooey candies such as caramels and jelly beans. When you do indulge in sugary foods try to brush as soon as possible afterwards.
It is important that you keep your appointments with your Glendale dentist and wear rubber bands and any other gear as instructed if you wish to avoid prolonging the time that you wear braces. If you follow the instructions of your Glendale AZ dental professional your time of wearing braces will soon be a distant memory, and you will be rewarded with a lovely, straight smile for the rest of your life.
Dr. Greg Ceyhan – Dentist