Getting braces is one of the best things you can do to improve the appearance and alignment of your teeth. However, there are a few things you must do to maintain your braces and keep your teeth in good condition throughout your treatment. To make sure you’re taking care of your braces correctly, be sure to abide by these do’s and don’ts!
DO brush your teeth carefully after every meal.
While maintaining a proper brushing routine can be a bit more tedious when you have braces, it is more important than ever to keep your teeth clean during this time. Food particles can be easily trapped in your teeth, wires, and brackets. If not removed quickly, these particles slowly feed the harmful bacteria in your mouth. In turn, these bacteria release acids that wear away at your dental enamel and gums—leading to tooth decay, discoloration, gingivitis, and more. In order to prevent future oral health problems after your braces are removed, be sure that you brush your teeth thoroughly and carefully after every meal.
DON’T eat foods that can damage your braces.
Unfortunately, there are a number of foods that you must avoid when you have braces on your teeth. Particularly chewy, hard, or sticky foods can damage or loosen your brackets—extending the amount of time it takes to straighten your smile. Therefore, you should not eat foods like chewing gum, taffy, caramel, pretzels, hard candy, etc. during this time. Fruits and vegetables should be cut into smaller, more manageable bites and corn should always be cut off the cob before eating.
DO floss daily.
Flossing is of upmost importance when you have braces. This critical step in your dental hygiene routine will remove the food particles and bacteria from the nooks and crannies of your teeth. Otherwise, these foods can lead to oral health issues down the road. To do so, simply thread the floss carefully between your tooth and the wire of your braces. (You may want to purchase a floss threader to make this process easier.) Then, work the floss back and forth gently between the teeth and braces, as well as between the teeth and gums. This should remove any remaining particles that a toothbrush may have missed.
DON’T bite your nails or chew on pencils.
While many people receiving orthodontic treatment know to avoid particular foods, they often forget to avoid certain nervous habits like chewing on pencils or biting your nails. While we know this can often be done subconsciously, it is important to avoid chewing on hard, inedible objects to keep your brackets and wires in good condition.
DO protect your teeth if you play sports.
We know the world doesn’t stop once you start receiving orthodontic treatment. We want to ensure that you can proceed life as usual as much as possible once you’ve gotten braces. That said, if you play any contact sports, it is important that you protect the device during practices and games. Talk to your dentist at Manus Dental about receiving a mouthguard to protect your device and keep your mouth safe.
DON’T miss your orthodontic appointments.
As part of your orthodontic treatment, you will need to make regular visits to the Manus Dental office. During these appointments, we will adjust your wires to progress the movement and alignment of your teeth. This will also give us an opportunity to make sure that you’re not experiencing any decay or gingivitis. If a bracket should break or come loose in between appointments, contact our office right away. We will work to fix the problem quickly, so you can continue your orthodontic treatment and avoid painful cuts from the loose brackets.
Would you like to learn more about getting orthodontic treatment with Manus Dental? Contact our convenient Hyde Park, Lake Zurich, or Yorkville locations today to schedule an appointment!