Taking Care Of Your Braces
You will be shown the proper care of your braces when your orthodontic treatment begins. Proper cleansing of your mouth is necessary every time you eat. Teeth with braces are harder to clean, and trap food very easily.
If food is left lodged on the brackets and wires, it can cause unsightly etching of the enamel on your teeth. Your most important job is to keep your mouth clean. If food is allowed to collect, the symptoms of gum disease will show in your mouth. The gums will swell and bleed and the pressure from the disease will slow down tooth movement.
Brushing Your Teeth
You should brush your teeth 4-5 times per day.
1. Brush back and forth across and between the wires and gums on the upper and lower to loosen any food particles.
2. Next, brush correctly as if you had no brackets or appliances on.
3. Then start on the outside of the uppers with the bristles at a 45 degree angle toward the gum and scrub with a circular motion two or three teeth at a time using ten strokes, then move on.
4. Next, do the same on the inner surface of the upper teeth.
5. Finally, go to the lower teeth and repeat steps 2, 3 and 4.
Look in a mirror to see if you have missed any places. Your teeth, brackets and wires should be free of any food particles and plaque.
Clean the retainer by brushing with toothpaste. If you are wearing a lower fixed retainer be extra careful to brush the wire and the inside of the lower teeth. Always bring your retainer to each appointment.
Avoid flipping the retainer with your tongue, this can cause damage to your teeth. Place the retainer in the plastic case when it is re-moved from your mouth.
Never wrap the retainer in a paper napkin or tissue, someone may throw it away. Don’t put it in your pocket or you may break or lose it. Excessive heat will warp and ruin the retainer.
If elastics (rubber bands) are worn intermittently, they will continually “shock” the teeth and cause more soreness.
Sore teeth between appointments usually indicate improper wear of headgear or elastics or inadequate hygiene. Wear your elastics correctly, attaching them as you were told.
Wear elastics all the time, unless otherwise directed. Take your elastics off while brushing. Change elastics as directed, usually once or twice a day.
Below you will find a few lists explaining which foods to avoid and which foods you can still eat but are recommended to cut up beforehand. The purpose of these diet restrictions are to ensure that the orthodontic appliances do not break and increase the oral health of our patients during treatment.
- Candy bars with caramel
- Fruit Roll-Ups
- Candy or caramel apples
- Gummy Bears
- Hard Candy
- Corn Chips
- Ice Cubes
- Corn on the Cob
- Chicken Wings
- Spare Ribs