20 Tips to Keep Your Braces Sparkling Clean and Strong

20 Tips to Keep Your Braces Sparkling Clean and Strong

Are you currently undergoing orthodontic treatment? Wearing a dental appliance can sometimes be annoying, especially the small food bits getting caught in the wires and elastic parts. If you’re having a hard time keeping your braces clean, here are the only tips you will need to remember.

1.Always drink water.

Water helps wash away the food stuck in your wires and brackets. It’s also a good habit to gargle water after eating because it removes debris more efficiently.

2. Avoid eating hard foods.

Nuts, bagels, French bread, apples, carrots and other foods that need a lot of chewing and biting should be avoided. However, you can transform them into ground, pureed or moistened versions to diversify your menu.

3. Don’t eat crisps.

Potato crisps and other junk foods can get lodged between the arch wires of your braces. These junk foods also leave an oily coating on the surface of the teeth that can add up to plaque.

4. Stay away from candies.

All kinds of candies are loaded with sugar, but soft candies are much worse for braces because of their stickiness. They can stick to the metal components and stay there for hours if not brushed properly.

5. Don’t chew gum.

Gum can get stuck in your braces, but, unlike soft candy that can be dissolved and brushed off the teeth, gum can’t be dissolved by water. The stickiness of the gum can be much harder to remove because it stretches and sticks to whatever it meets, even the toothbrush.

6. Avoid eating cakes and pastries.

Cakes and pastries usually have a glaze or icing that can cover the teeth and braces with a sticky coating. This speeds up bacteria growth and plaque development.

7. Minimise the consumption of whole grain and whole wheat products.

Wheat and grains have small particles that can get stuck between teeth and arch wires. These can be difficult to remove because they don’t dissolve in water, unlike candies, and it’s difficult to use a toothpick when wearing braces.

8. Use an interdental brush.

Interdental brushes, also known as proxa brushes, are cone-shaped and designed to squeeze through the spaces between teeth and around the braces, making it easy to remove anything stuck in your arch wires.

9. Use a soft-bristled brush, preferably one with slim bristles.

Slimmer bristles can get in between teeth better than regular-sized bristles. Don’t use hard-bristled brushes because these can damage the components of your braces and deteriorate the metal plating of your wires.

10. Brush gently but with maximum coverage.

You will often hear your dentist tell you to spend at least 10 seconds per tooth when brushing. This is because normal brushing is ineffective when you have braces blocking off the surface of your teeth. Food and bacteria also get stuck on the brackets and damage your tooth enamel. Instead of brushing hard and quick, take your time and brush each tooth gently.

11. Gargle with a mouthwash that was specifically prescribed by your dentist.

Dentists prescribe antiseptic mouthwash for orthodontic patients because it’s necessary to use a liquid dental cleaner when you have braces. Liquid can pass through the very small spaces in your teeth, over and under your braces.

12. Be careful when handling your braces.

If your braces have removable elastic parts, make sure you remove them carefully before brushing and put them back when done.

13. Use a dental irrigation system.

A water irrigator will make it easier to wash away anything stuck between the teeth and metal braces. It also helps clean the teeth, wash away bacteria and plaque and neutralize acidity that can demineralise tooth enamel.

14. Don’t forget to brush your tongue.

The tongue is an open surface full of food particles, and bacteria can  reproduce on it. Brush the tongue using your toothbrush or a tongue scraper whenever you brush your teeth.

15. Use topical fluoride on your teeth.

Your dentist may recommend topical fluoride that you can  apply directly on your teeth. This will help strengthen teeth while you’re wearing braces and minimise the possibility of tooth decay.

16. Don’t use the teeth for biting or chewing non-food items.

If you had old habits of biting or chewing non-food items like nails, pens and even ice, this is the time to stop.

17. Don’t pick on your braces.

Picking on your arch wires can damage them and even loosen them, reducing the effectiveness of the orthodontic appliance.

18. Always check your braces for stuck food particles.

Every after eating, look in the mirror and check if anything got lodged into your braces. Remove them right away so that they don’t cause bad breath and bacterial reproduction.

19. Use Superfloss or another flossing material that has a threader.

A threader will help you pass floss above and below the arch wires much easier. It will reduce the chances of making your gums bleed.

20. Always follow up with your orthodontist.

Whether your appointment is every two weeks or every month, follow your orthodontist’s instructions in following up and never miss an appointment.

Your braces will be with you for 18 months to two years, which means you need to care for it properly to make it last. A dentist who focuses on dental hygiene in Epsom, Auckland can help you in taking good care of your orthodontic appliance. Don’t disregard the cleanliness of your braces because your teeth will suffer the most damage in the end.