How do you maintain braces?
Get the proper tools
How do you maintain braces? Just as with any job, you need the right tools to accomplish the task correctly and successfully. You wouldn’t want to use a screwdriver to hammer in a nail!! Choose an electric toothbrush (what does this office typically recommend to their pts?) Those ultrasonic motions are more effective that we can be. Also, there is undoubtedly something for brushing with a timer.
A water-flosser is another must-have. (brand)You don’t want to leave food and bacteria growing in between your teeth, leading to interproximal caries or decay. The last thing you want to do is have a bunch of fillings after the braces come off.
A daily fluoride mouth rinse. Fluoride helps to fortify and remineralizer the external surface of the tooth. Typically an over-the-counter type, such as the ACT, is plenty. Consult with your dentist to see if they recommend using something a little more substantial.
While all these tools indeed to make caring for your braces a little easier, the bottom line is that even though it is much more of a challenge, brushing and flossing teeth for 2 minutes 2x per day certainly needs to be a priority.
What you eat and Drink
All teeth benefit from a healthy diet! It is essential to reduce the exposure time of acid and sugars to your teeth. So just as without braces, you want to limit the number of sodas, sugary drinks, candy, and other sticky foods that could contribute to dental decay.
With braces, there will be a few extra guidelines. Sometimes this seems restrictive, but remember this is just a temporary situation, and it will be well worth it in the long run!
Avoid anything hard, crunchy, or sticky- they can lead to broken wires or brackets. Additionally, nuts, raw vegetables, and chewing on other nonfood items, such as pencils or fingernails should also be avoided.
Finally, stay on top of your appointments!
At some point during your orthodontic adventure, you will feel like going to dental appointments is your new hobby! Keeping the scheduled appointments with your orthodontist is imperative to ensure treatment progress in a timely fashion, but don’t overlook those twice-a-year visits to your general dentist. Seeing your “regular” dentist for a check-up and cleaning will help you keep your teeth nice and clean. It will also help you spot any issues and prevent any minor problems from becoming more severe issues in the future. There is nothing more discouraging than getting those braces off, to find that you have a bunch of new cavities that now need to be treated, which means even more time in the dental chair!
Congratulations, and good luck. Orthodontic treatment is an attractive option for so many patients, and with just a little extra effort, it can leave you with a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come.