The day has finally come and you have a brand new mouthful of braces! Now that you are starting the process of creating your new smile, you also want to make sure you are keeping your teeth as clean as possible. Here are some tips to make sure you are keeping your teeth as healthy as possible as you start your journey towards straight teeth.
- Avoid sticky and hard foods.
- Foods like nuts, popcorn, and candy can easily break off brackets and delay you towards finishing up treatment. Furthermore, these foods can easily get stuck in your braces and be a pain to get out, eventually leading to staining and cavities. As a general rule, avoid hard, firm, and chewy foods that can get stuck or dislodge your braces. Some examples are gum, ice, pretzels, carrots, etc. For larger foods, try cutting them into pieces rather than biting into them. Also even chewing on pens, pencils, bottle caps, and other hard things can easily break off brackets.
- Brush your teeth – the right way!
- Brushing your teeth is the most important step in keeping your teeth healthy as we straighten them into position. Often times, food can get stuck around your braces after you eat. If not cleaned regularly, this can lead to bad breath, staining, and cavities. To keep your braces and teeth clean, you must brush all surfaces of not only your teeth, but also your brackets as well. Make sure to angle your toothbrush so the bristles of the brush go underneath the wire and around the brackets. Also, don’t forget your gums! Often times your gums can get puffy and swollen if you aren’t spending enough time brushing. Spending some time brushing your gums near your brackets will ensure you have a healthy, clean mouth.
- Floss! Floss! Floss!
- If brushing is the most important part of keeping your teeth clean, flossing isn’t too far behind. Flossing takes extra time, but it cleans out all the gunk that your brush can’t reach in between your teeth. Two of my favorite cleaning tools are Platypus flossers and proxy brushes. Both of these devices make flossing so much easier. Furthermore you can keep these flossers with you in your bag, pocket, or purse so you’ll always have them on the go.
Following these three simple steps can make a world of difference in keeping your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful!
-Dr. Ray Rebong