Braces are the next big thing in dental care. Pennsylvania Dental Association reports that 4 million people in the United States now wear braces.
If you are one of them, you’ll need to know how to take care of your braces. Poor maintenance can cause damage that will mean extra repair costs and increase the time it takes to get your teeth straightened.
So are you ready to know how to care for your braces? Keep reading to find out some dental care tips for you.
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What to Eat and Not to Eat
To take care of your braces, you need to be aware of what to eat and not to eat. Foods to avoid with braces include hard candy, nuts, and chewing gum. These can all damage your braces.
Additionally, be careful with sticky foods like caramel and taffy. They can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove. Finally, cut up hard foods like apples and carrots into small pieces to make them easier to eat.
Eating a balanced diet is essential for healthy teeth and gums. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your meals.
Brushing and Flossing
To keep your braces clean and your smile bright, you’ll need to brush and floss regularly. Here are a few tips to help you brush and floss with braces.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste designed for people with braces. Angle the toothbrush toward the gum line and use gentle circular motions.
Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the areas around your brackets and wires—floss using a floss threader or water flosser. Gently guide the floss between your teeth, careful not to snap the floss against your gums.
Visiting the Orthodontist Regularly
If you have braces, you must visit the orthodontist regularly to ensure they are functioning correctly by adjusting your braces as needed. After a routine adjustment, you may experience a slight amount of pain.
If this pain becomes extreme, you should consult your orthodontist. Concerns and problems with broken parts should also be immediately brought to your orthodontist’s attention.
It’s also vital that you continue with regular visits to your general dentist while a dental professional monitors your undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Your dental professional will monitor your home oral health, care techniques, and recommended changes. As always, be sure to follow their instructions.
Oral Care Products for Braces
To properly take care of your braces, you must use the right oral care products. Here are the products you need to keep your braces clean and healthy:
You need to use a toothbrush that has soft bristles. Firm bristles can damage the brackets and wires on your braces.
You need to use toothpaste that is specifically made for people with braces. This toothpaste is designed to be gentle on your braces while cleaning your teeth effectively.
You must floss your teeth daily to remove food and plaque from between your teeth. You can use regular floss or a floss designed specifically for people with braces.
You should use a mouthwash that contains fluoride. This will help to prevent cavities and keep your teeth healthy.
Make Braces Comfortable
Here are some tips on how to make them comfortable.
Using orthodontic wax is an excellent tool if you have irritation points in your mouth, such as a bracket or wire rubbing against your gum or cheek.
To use orthodontic wax, get a small piece and roll until it’s easily bent. Dry off the area where you’re applying the wax; this will help the wax stick better. Then press the wax over the wire or bracket irritating your mouth, and make sure it sticks.
If you’re still experiencing pain and irritation, don’t hesitate to contact or visit your local dentist and consult for dental services to ensure nothing is sticking out or broken.
Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or Aleve are great options for relieving dental pain. Make sure you follow all directions on the bottle and don’t take more than the recommended maximum amount.
Cold temperatures reduce inflammation and numb the targeted area. Take a bag of ice, ice pack, or other frozen product in your freezer and place it outside your mouth where you feel pain. The extreme cold will numb the area and make braces pain less noticeable.
While applying cold temperatures to the mouth can undoubtedly help, warm water can also help. If you have any cuts or sores in your mouth from your braces or feeling any soreness, rinse with warm water and a salt mixture. Salt is known to kill bacteria in your mouth and prevent infection.
A numbing oral cream or gel placed over the affected areas in your mouth can be a great way to relieve pain. You can rub products such as Orajel or Anbesol onto the teeth or gum areas that hurt to numb them. This is an excellent option because it’s easy to bring these products if you’re on the go at school, work, or wherever else.
Maintain Your Braces With These Dental Care Tips
Although taking care of braces may seem daunting, it is pretty simple.
Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Eat healthy foods.
Be careful with hard and sticky foods. See your orthodontist for regular check-ups.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your braces in tip-top shape and achieve the perfect smile in no time. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and show off your fabulous new smile!
For more dental care tips and other interesting reads, flip through the rest of our blog.
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