Keeping your braces beneficial for your teeth for as long as possible requires proper maintenance. Here are tips for maintaining your braces in good shape.
On average, a patient has to have their braces for anywhere between one and three years to reach their intended results. That’s quite the time investment to make and you don’t want to extend that because of damage to the appliances. It’s crucial to avoid braces maintenance mistakes and keep your orthodontics in their best shape possible. When you keep your braces intact, they’ll be able o function properly and straighten your smile as quickly as possible. Any breakdown and wearing out of the brackets or wires can make it so the whole process is slowed significantly. To help your orthodontist get you the smile you’ve always wanted, follow these maintenance tips to help keep your braces in tiptop shape. Follow Best Oral Hygiene Practices Ask anyone with expert knowledge in dentistry and they’ll tell you the most important thing to do for your teeth is take care of your oral hygiene. This is especially true when you have orthodontics in play as well. It’s much easier to have good oral health with straight teeth but it’s a good idea to create as many positive habits as possible while the straightening is happening. This is the best way to set you up for success and avoid having to fix a new set of problems once the braces are removed. The best oral hygiene includes brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, followed by thorough flossing. Those with braces also benefit from a mouth rinse to ensure all the particles are removed since there are many more hiding places. Get the Right Braces Cleaning Tools In order to really achieve that full-mouth clean that is recommended by dentists while having braces, you’ll need some extra tools in your arsenal. The most helpful tool will be a small brush designed to be flexible enough to fit into the space between the brackets but under the wire. This is where food debris likes to collect and is often missed by a regular toothbrush. A quick follow-up between each bracket after regular brushing will get everything cleaned up. It’s also helpful to have some flossing aids to make sure you get in-between the teeth as well. There are a variety of options to help patients find something that works for their mouth and preferences. Orthodontics is a crucial step for many in overall oral health but can be difficult to take care of without the right braces cleaning tools. Pay Attention to Food Choices While you can’t avoid all food intake while you have braces, it’s a good idea to cut a few foods out until you get them removed. There are some types of foods that can either cause damage or get more easily stuck in the braces making them harder to clean. The main food type to limit is the ones that are overly sticky and chewy. That would include things like caramel. taffy, or fruit snacks. It’s really difficult to remove these and their sugar content can easily lead to cavities. Harder foods like nuts or popcorn can cause brackets to crack or fall off of the teeth. A balanced diet can help keep your teeth strong and healthy throughout your whole orthodontic journey. Avoid Excess Chewing Another thing you should eliminate when you have braces is excessive chewing, mainly on non-food items. Many people have the bad habit of chewing on pen lids or their nails, it seems innocent enough but can actually be fairly detrimental to teeth. As the teeth chew on these items, they grind against them or each other which causes them to break down. A breakdown in the enamel of the teeth is the first step to cavities and other severe problems. Add on the orthodontics and there’s a whole other surface for teeth to grind against. It’s a good idea to try to break these habits as quickly as you can to keep your braces from breaking. Regular Braces Maintenance No matter which of the types of braces you have, it’s important that you keep all of your regular braces maintenance appointments. This will ensure that they stay in working order for as long as possible. Visiting the dentist or orthodontist is the best way to find and resolve issues before they get to be too severe and derail the process of your teeth straightening. Not to mention all of the oral health benefits from dental visits for the teeth beyond orthodontics. They’ll be able to deep clean your teeth, find any weak spots, and make sure everything is on track to reach your goal. Set up a schedule with your dentist to make sure you get the help you need throughout the process. Talk to Your Dentist About Any Problems As you take care of your regular braces maintenance, make sure to take the time to talk to your dentist about any problems that you’re experiencing. It can be difficult for them to spot every weak point in a check-up, so it’s a good idea to point them in the direction of an area you think you need help with. This is also a good opportunity to make sure you’re taking care of the braces as you should and get any advice you think you need in the future. Your dentist and orthodontist want to help you get to the beautiful, straight smile you’ve been hoping for, so take advantage of their expertise to get there! Avoid Braces Maintenance Mistakes Getting orthodontics is a big undertaking for most patients, it can be uncomfortable at times and is a process most want to be done as quickly as possible. The best way to ensure you get the results you want is to avoid any braces maintenance mistakes and keep your appliances in the best shape possible. All of the effort to keep your orthodontics well-maintained is worth it when you get your dream smile and get to enjoy the benefits of straighter teeth! If you’re interested in learning about the options for straightening your smile, contact us today to schedule a consultation.