Taking Care of Your Braces
When you get your braces, you’ll likely already be thinking about the day you can get them off and look at your new smile. But to get to that point in time, it’s important to follow some simple care guidelines. If you keep up with regular care for your braces, you’ll get to see your new smile on time without any issues.
Brushing and Flossing
You should always stay on top of brushing and flossing your teeth, but it’s even more important to keep a consistent cleaning routine while you have braces. The brackets have a tendency to trap food easily, making you more vulnerable to tooth decay if you aren’t careful. Be sure to floss every day and to brush your teeth after every meal, taking your time to ensure your teeth are free of trapped food. Using an electric toothbrush can give you even better results.
Make flossing easier by using a floss threader. To make sure your teeth are fully clean, supplement your cleaning by rinsing with mouthwash and using a water flosser or air flosser. Not only will your teeth look bright and beautiful when you get your braces removed by keeping up with good cleaning habits, but you’ll also avoid needing additional procedures that could delay your treatment.
Rubber Band Maintenance
If you have an underbite or an overbite, you could get elastic bands with your braces. These are different from the ligatures that hold your wires in place with the brackets. Often referred to as “interarch bands,” these rubber bands pull your jaw into alignment over time. This aspect of your braces is also important if you want your treatment to finish as scheduled. The elasticity of the bands diminishes over time, so you should replace your bands once per day to maintain the pressure needed for the right results.
To keep them in good condition otherwise, take the elastics out while you eat and while brushing your teeth. Be sure not to lose your bands so you can stay on track and finish your treatment on time.
Many teens who get braces are involved in team sports, which can put their braces at risk. Since you can’t just remove your braces for sporting events, it’s best to get a mouthguard to protect the braces during physical activity where contact is likely. This includes practices and isn’t just limited to sports with player-to-player contact. A stray ball or swinging bat can just as much damage to braces as an elbow.
If you get traditional silver braces or ceramic braces, the brackets will be vulnerable to bending or breaking during meals. Because of this, stick to soft foods that will be easy on your braces. While this may seem like a tall order, it is very doable if you find the right alternatives, such as grilled chicken or fish instead of tough steak or bananas instead of apples.
You can learn more about your treatment options and how to care for your braces by scheduling a free consultation here at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists.
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