Do you wear braces or did your child recently get them?
Maintaining braces is going to be your primary concern, especially early on, as you or your kid adjust to life with them on. Everything from how you brush to the food you eat requires a few changes.
Without proper maintenance, your braces could wear out or break. Your teeth will suffer in the process. You’ll end up spending even more on replacements or repairs.
Not sure where to start? Discover how to take good care of your braces with our guide below.
With braces or without, always brush your teeth! You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, although some people go one step further and brush three or four times, once for every meal they have.
Brushing can feel weird when you have braces on. Keep brushing as you would without them. You won’t get everything out but that’s why we’re going to tackle flossing next.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Did you know not even half of the population flosses their teeth? This is a big concern because flossing not only removes the food and debris between your teeth but it can help maintain your braces.
Regardless of the types of braces you use, you should make it a habit to floss. Flossing removes the food and debris that could dislodge the braces or wear them down.
Keep in mind that you need to floss before you brush.
Flossing first dislodges the food and debris. When you brush and rinse after, it’ll push them off. If you do it the other way around, the food you flossed out might still stick to your braces and teeth.
The good news is there are several types of flosses to choose from. Dental tape or Super Floss are the better choices for people with braces. These can get in between the material to clean both the braces and your teeth.
Choice of Food
Avoid hard and chewy food when you have braces on. These can crack, disfigure, or pull your braces. Keep away from these if you want to take care of your braces.
This means you may have to avoid eating nuts, bubblegum, hard candies, and tough meat. You’ll have to stop eating crunchy food too, such as popcorn, ice cubes, and some junk food.
One of the many benefits of Invisalign braces is that you have a wider range of food options. That doesn’t mean you can eat virtually everything, however. Ask your dentist about Invisalign and the food you need to avoid to keep them in good shape.
Avoid Soft Drinks
Unfortunately, your food choices aren’t the only concern. Taking care of your braces also means you need to avoid some drinks too. The biggest culprit to steer clear of are soft drinks.
The acids and other chemicals in soft drinks not only break the enamel in your teeth but they corrode braces too. Anything with a high amount of sugar can do this, which means you’ll also need to avoid sparkling water. Regular water and milk are your best alternatives.
Soft drinks can damage your braces but so can coffee. There is also a strong amount of acid in coffee to diminish the structural integrity of your braces, especially those made of metal or ceramic.
Stop Bad Chewing Habits
Do you have bad chewing habits like onychophagia? Nibbling on your fingernails or other items like pencils or hair strands can ruin your braces too.
Like crunchy food, biting down on items or your own fingernails can damage the integrity of your braces. Bad habits like these will also affect your gums and teeth. Unfortunately, most people do these habits without even realizing it.
There are a few ways to stop biting your nails. Trim your nails to keep them short and if you have to, apply bitter nail polish to discourage you from putting them in your mouth.
If you bite down on other things, stop the habit by diverting your attention to something else. Get a fidget spinner or stress balls to keep things out of your mouth.
Use a Cleaning Brush
If you can, look for a braces cleaning kit. These come with floss and a tiny cleaning brush. You need to slide these between the braces and your teeth, guaranteeing you clean out both.
Don’t fret if you don’t know how to clean braces with a brush. There are video tutorials all over the Internet. However, it’s still wiser to seek assistance from your dentist.
Also, make sure you don’t brush too hard (this applies to regular toothbrushing too). Pushing too hard or using harsh bristles can damage the surface of your braces and may hurt your gums too.
Always Visit the Dentist
The best way to care for braces is to see your dentist. You should make it a habit to visit a dentist at least twice a year. However, if you wear braces, they may require you to come back every few weeks to check your progress.
Your dentist will tell you whether there are problems with your braces or not. They’ll give you further advice about taking care of them and how to maintain them without harming your teeth and gums.
If you do need new, replacement braces, your dentist will be the one to tell you. Listen to their advice and make sure to follow their tips when it comes to brushing and flossing with braces on.
Practice Maintaining Braces
Regular braces maintenance isn’t too difficult as long as you follow these seven tips. Brush, floss, avoid crunchy food, acidic drinks, and visit your dentist.
Maintaining braces is only the beginning.
Learn how to properly take care of your teeth or discover different dental options like Invisalign by reading more of our health posts. We offer tons of tips and tricks for you to check out so don’t hesitate to read more today!