Caring for Braces
Orthodontic appliances and braces require a little more attention to your daily dental care routine, as well as adherence to certain food restrictions for the most optimal outcomes, so you must learn how to clean teeth with braces or retainers. You will need more tools to care for your teeth and it is often necessary to increase the number of times you brush and floss each day. Even your brushing and flossing techniques may have to change a bit to accommodate your braces. It’s all a lot to remember. These tips summarize all the dos and don’ts of caring for braces so that you can stay on course to maximize your smile’s potential!
Learn how to clean teeth with braces
You will have to brush and floss more frequently with braces, since food can easily collect in the wires and between the teeth and appliance. Special brushes are necessary to assist in cleaning hard-to-reach areas. You will also need to ensure that you maintain a clean retainer.
You will need to brush after every meal and rinse with mouthwash to keep your braces, retainer, and teeth clean. Flossing is a more careful process that requires careful looping of the floss around wires to avoid damaging the appliance and still clean between the teeth. Once daily is still recommended, but a little more time may be necessary to thoroughly complete the task, as compared to flossing without braces.
Eating with braces
The first week with your braces may require eating only soft foods, but the soreness will rapidly diminish and you will be free to eat a wide variety of foods. To optimally protect your braces, avoid these foods until they are removed:
- Hard foods: nuts, candy, lozenges, hard breads
- Crunchy foods: chips, ice, popcorn
- Chewy foods: gummy candies, licorice, bagels
- Sticky foods: gum, caramels, taffy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, pears, carrots
If you have a habit of chewing on objects, such as pens, pencils, or fingernails, use caution. These items can damage your orthodontic appliances and lead to the need for repair and extended treatment.
Soreness with braces
During the first week with braces, you will have to adjust to the way they feel in your mouth and you may experience some soreness. Many patients find relief in a warm saltwater rinse and over-the-counter pain relievers. You may also find that the inside of your mouth becomes irritated, but as you adjust, these tissues will toughen to accommodate your braces.
Your braces will have to be tightened periodically to ensure the benefits of the process. After tightening, you may feel sore again for a few hours to a whole day. Much like your first week with braces, warm saltwater and over-the-counter pain relievers can minimize the discomfort.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in St. Clair Shores, call Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores today at (248) 850-1809 or make an appointment.
Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in St. Clair Shores. With 8 affiliated practices throughout Michigan, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores.