How to Care for Your Braces
Braces are the traditional treatment for correcting the alignment of your teeth, involving the use of metal brackets and wires that are fixed to your teeth throughout the duration of your treatment. This treatment is incredibly effective, and still a very popular treatment today. For your braces to be effective, however, they need to be properly cared for. Dr. Tim Dumore & Team is here to help.
Oral Hygiene and Your BracesBrushing and flossing are two essential habits that should be done every single day. These habits are crucial for eliminating plaque and bacteria in your mouth to reduce your risk for developing issues like cavities and gum disease. While important every day, these habits become especially important when you have braces.
Brushing and flossing with braces is different, and more involved, than brushing and flossing normally. In addition to brushing in the morning and then again before bed, it is highly recommended that you brush after every meal. When you brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. To brush the front surfaces of your teeth, angle the head of your toothbrush against the brackets so that you can effectively clean around them. Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth and the backs of your teeth as well. You may notice that the bristles of your toothbrush fray faster than usual, and your toothbrush should be replaced accordingly, even if this means replacing it before the recommended three months.
Flossing with braces is essential not only for removing plaque, bacteria, and food particles but also for removing this debris from under your wires and around your brackets. It can be difficult to get the floss underneath the wire so that a floss threader can be exceptionally helpful. Floss between each tooth, under the wires and around the brackets. Do not forget to floss behind your back teeth.
Protecting Your BracesTaking steps to protect your braces is essential for ensuring that they provide you with the most effective results. Avoid eating hard, crunchy, chewy, and sticky foods. These types of foods, including whole apples, caramels, chewing gum, crusty bread, and more, can cause your brackets to become dislodged or your wires to bend or break.
If you are involved in sports, a mouth guard is a must, even without braces. However, when you have braces, your regular mouth guard will not provide you with the protection you need. Wearing your regular mouth guard can put you at further risk of harm, such as damaging your braces, harming your mouth, or interfering with your breathing. We can create a custom fit mouth guard that will accommodate your braces and provide you with optimal protection, allowing you to safely participate in your favorite sports.
Dealing with Braces Related EmergenciesWhile taking care of your braces can help to keep them safe, sometimes braces related emergencies occur. A bracket can come loose. A wire may bend or break. It is important to deal with these emergencies as quickly as possible to avoid delays in treatment and to avoid potential injuries. If you cannot be seen right away, paraffin wax can be placed over the bracket or broken wire to protect intraoral tissues. With prompt treatment, we can correct your issues, ensuring that your treatment continues safely and effectively.
With proper care, your braces will effectively realign your teeth, helping to improve both your oral health and the appearance of your smile. For more information about caring for your braces, call Dr. Tim Dumore & Team at 204-809-6026 today.