The following tips for wearing braces during your Belmar orthodontic treatment can assist you in getting more out of your experience. Your treatment is helping you gain a smile you are proud of and we want you to be eager to share it all along the way! Being well-informed on what you can do to prevent struggles can help you enjoy the process more and help you stay on track for treatment completion.
Tips for Wearing Braces: Keeping Your Braces Clean
Keeping your braces clean protects your teeth from plaque build-up and enamel deterioration. Learning these tips for wearing braces and how to care for your braces is paramount for success during treatment. The following tips can help you with your daily oral hygiene with braces.
- Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day, if not more. The ideal would be to brush after every meal or snack to avoid food chunks getting stuck in your teeth or brackets. Food can break down on your teeth the longer it is stuck and build up plaque, which could then leave you with tooth deterioration or stains. Keep your brackets clean. Electronic toothbrushes can help you with brushing if you want some extra power to your cleaning, but regular toothbrushes can work as well. The best thing you could do for your braces is to keep them clean.
- Floss every tooth every day. You will have to thread your floss through your teeth to floss them. It takes more time, but you need to do it! Flossing every day (preferably twice a day) will help prevent cavities and will help your teeth to move better and quicker, which is what you want. Electronic water flossers are also helpful for cleaning braces.
- Use mouthwash every day. This will help prevent plaque and gingivitis and other bacteria from sticking around in your mouth. A cleaner mouth with help keep your brackets cleaner as well as your teeth and gums as they move.
- Disclosing tablets can be used to help you visually see where plaque is accumulating. Ask your orthodontist if he thinks using disclosing tablets would help you.
- Don’t chew on non-food items such as your nails and pencils. These count as hard items. Basically avoid anything hard so you don’t break your brackets.
- Use wax to cover up pokey areas in the mouth after you have cleaned your teeth. Your orthodontist can provide you with this wax.
Tips for Wearing Braces: Foods to Skip
- Ice: Don’t chew on ice, as ice can break your brackets! You can suck on ice all you want, but no chewing.
- Caramel, taffy, and gummy bears: This candy is too sticky and gooey and it can take your brackets or wires right off. Avoid all candy that has this consistency.
- Hard chips: Avoid hard chips and taco shells–they will break your brackets.
- Hard pretzels: These also break brackets
- Raw veggies and fruits, such as hard carrots and apples: These can break off brackets and get stuck in your teeth very easily.
- Hard candies: The tendency for most is to chew on the hard candies. Just avoid them altogether.
- Nuts, seeds, popcorn: These foods are hard and can break brackets and wires, just like most things on this list. Be very careful if you do eat them, but it’s safer to avoid them altogether.
- Corn on the cob: The very first bite will lodge a bunch of corn into your brackets. It’s best to cut the corn off first and then enjoy. Cut most fruits, vegetables, and meats into bite-size pieces to avoid food getting stuck in your braces. You will be thankful you did!
- Beef jerky: This seems to be a bracket breaker as well, so beware! Stick to softer meats during your time with braces, and if you must eat beef jerky, cut it into bite-site pieces.
- Soda: Usually soda is full of sugar and damages the health and look of your teeth. It can stain your teeth over time and deteriorate your teeth as bacteria is attracted to sugar and plaque buildup. If you do drink soda, make sure to brush your teeth right after.
- Sugary treats: Sugary snacks all the time will not do you any favors with braces. Just like soda, bacteria loves sugar and too much too often will deteriorate your teeth. Make sure to limit or minimize your sugar intake and brush your teeth after eating sugary foods. Your teeth will thank you.
More Tips for Wearing Braces to Help You
- Go to each and every appointment—don’t skip! This will save you time in the long run and you could even get your braces off sooner.
- Keep chapstick with you to keep your lips moisturized. Brackets can be pokey, but you don’t want your lips to break or crack easily as well.
- Keep a small kit with you (such as in a purse or backpack) that has all the essentials when you need them: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, chapstick, wax for pokey brackets, etc.
- Don’t use whitening products. Whitening the teeth will only whiten part of your teeth and they will be discolored when the braces come off. Sometimes you will be left with squares on all your teeth. Plus, some whitening products can’t be used with braces, so it’s best to avoid these altogether.
- If you have an orthodontic emergency, like a broken bracket or wire, let your orthodontist know right away! Don’t wait to say something, even if your appointment is the next day. Extra time may be needed to fix what is broken, so the orthodontist will need to know to plan a longer appointment. Plus, if you wait to get a bracket or wire fixed, it could extend the time you have braces. Don’t try to fix the bracket or wire yourself. Put wax on the pokey area and wait for your orthodontist’s help.
Following these tips for wearing braces can help you to show off your smile! Thousands of teens and adults have braces and many more will have them during their life. Remember that you are working towards an amazing smile, and don’t be afraid to show off those teeth. You can also dress up your teeth with bright-colored bands and switch out these bands for different colors each time you go to make it more fun. Following your orthodontist’s instructions and caring for your teeth will ensure that you have a beautiful smile in the end.