Braces can help you straighten your teeth, but when you first get them, the transition can be uncomfortable. Not only do they sometimes feel strange in your mouth, they can be time-consuming, as a lot of extra dental hygiene is involved. If you have just gotten braces put on and are feeling overwhelmed with your new dental care regimen, read this blog for some tips on how to make braces work for you.
Be Vigilant About Dental Hygiene
Everyone needs to brush twice and floss once daily. However, when you have braces, you have added dental hygiene responsibilities. You also need to brush after every meal to ensure that you get rid of any food particles, even if it is just a snack. First, rinse out your mouth with water to loosen any particles that are stuck in your brackets. Then, take care to start by brushing your teeth and gum line above and below your braces, holding your brush at a 45-degree angle. After you have cleaned your teeth, clean your brackets by brushing downwards from the top of the bracket then upwards from the bottom of the bracket. After you have finished brushing, rinse your mouth again.
To floss your teeth, you will want to use a flosser or floss threader to more easily work around your brackets. Floss not only between the braces and teeth, but under the wires as well. Waxed floss is a better choice than unwaxed because it can move more easily between the braces, ensuring it doesn’t get snagged.
Carry a Dental Care Kit
When you have braces, there are a variety of issues that can come up when you’re on the go, from a rubber band snapping to exceptionally dry lips. Having a dental care kit that you take with you wherever you go can be handy when you have braces. The plus side is you can practice proper oral hygiene if you have a toothbrush and paste on hand after meals. Include a toothbrush, toothpaste, flossers, chapstick, extra rubber bands, and wax.
Avoid Certain Foods
When you have braces, there are certain foods that are important to avoid because they can cause damage to your brackets. Especially sticky foods like caramels, gum, and licorice should be avoided. Additionally, very hard foods like nuts, ice, or hard candies and crunchy foods like chips and popcorn can cause issues with your brackets, as well as foods you need to bite into, like apples or corn on the cob. You can also damage your braces by chewing on certain objects like pens or fingernails, so avoid these habits as well.
Check Your Braces Every Day
If your braces are damaged, they are not going to effectively straighten your teeth, and you will have to wear them for longer. Therefore, you want to be diligent about making sure that you have not unwittingly damaged them. Every day, check your braces for any loose brackets or broken wires. If you do find damage, promptly contact us to have them fixed ASAP.
Do you need dental orthodontics in Atlantic City? We would be more than happy to help! Contact Smiles by Dr. Santos for help with your braces.