Have you been thinking about trying orthodontics and want to learn more about how to care for them? Or better yet, you got braces for the first time and are researching the best methods to take care of them. Whatever the reason, all of us at Szymanowski are thrilled to be your dental care partners, helping you get the straight, healthy teeth you deserve.
Keeping your teeth clean will be an important skill for your whole life, but committing to excellent oral care during your braces treatment will ensure that your final results are beautiful. It’s not uncommon for some people to get their braces off only to discover plaque buildup, discoloration, or even cavities. We don’t want that to be you, so let’s continue our best tips for oral health during orthodontic treatment.
Keep Up with Brushing and Flossing
If you guessed that brushing and flossing would be our #1, then you are absolutely right. Regular brushing and flossing your teeth is the baseline for your oral health throughout your life, and that is still true when braces are on!
Aside from twice daily brushing, and flossing once per day, here are some tools that will set you up for success.
Floss Threader & Waxed Floss
A floss threader is a small device that you can use to thread floss underneath each wire to floss your teeth. Pairing that with waxed floss that has more stiffness to make it flexible and manageable will be your best bet to keep up with flossing.
A water flosser is a great fit for people who struggle to maintain flossing, especially during treatment when you have the extra effort of working around wires. Water flossers shoot a stream of water that you guide between each tooth, blasting out plaque and food debris that gets trapped there. Feel free to ask Dr. Damon if you have any other specific questions about whether a water flosser might be right for you.
An interproximal toothbrush is a handy little tooth with a cylindrical head that you can easily navigate under wires and around braces for an extra deep clean. You can use this brush during your daily brushing, or take it with you so that you’ll have something to help get out any food after lunch, etc.
Embrace the Braces Diet
Following our guidance on what kind of food you eat during treatment will help keep your teeth and braces safe. Brackets are well-secured, but they aren’t permanent devices and they can break or come loose if you eat the wrong kinds of food. It’s also important to skip a few things that can increase the chances of tooth decay during treatment. It won’t be forever, we promise!
-Avoid hard and crunchy foods like carrots, apples, ice, chips, and more. If you question whether your braces are strong enough, then it’s probably a good idea to skip it altogether or cut them up into much smaller bite-sized pieces.
-Avoid caramel and other gooey treats, candies, and gum. Chewy and sticky substances can get stuck and cause decay.
-Avoid drinking acidic or sugary drinks like sodas or energy drinks. Acids can erode ceramic braces or even rust metal ones! And sugar in drinks can be one of the quickest ways to increase tooth decay.
Use the Right Toothpaste and Mouthwash
The types of toothpaste and mouthwash you use when you have braces can also be a huge component of the success of your treatment. As we mentioned above, the substances in your toothpaste or mouthwash are important. That means skipping any that have acids because of the damage it can do to wires and brackets. However, it’s a good idea to choose ones that contain fluoride as it is a natural compound that strengthens teeth enamel.
It’s also a good idea to avoid whitening toothpaste and treatments since your teeth are not fully exposed due to the brackets and wires. You don’t want to end up with a patchy mess after the braces are off, so save all of your whitening dreams for a few more months!
Keep Your Smile in Tip-Top Shape at Szymanowski Orthodontics!
Getting to that smile of your dreams doesn’t have to be a pipe dream anymore thanks to our team at Szymanowski Orthodontics! Dr. Damon and his crew of professionals are so excited to help you get your treatment started and see those stunning results that you’ve been waiting for.
If you’re ready to get started now, go ahead and give our Sacramento office a call to schedule a free consultation appointment. This is the best way to learn your best treatment options and see how long your treatment will take! We can’t wait to see you in our office soon, so give us a call today!