Braces are a means to an end – you want a straight and beautiful smile, and braces are the way to get it. However, braces alone won’t give you a beautiful smile; how you care for your mouth while wearing braces also determines the outcome. Oral hygiene is extremely important for those who have braces on their teeth. Food and plaque get trapped in the tiny spaces between the braces and the wires. When these substances are not removed, they can cause decay and enamel stains on the teeth. Caring for the mouth with braces takes a little more effort, but the end result is one that is worth showing off.
When wearing braces, it is best that you brush your teeth after every meal. Yes, this means carrying a tooth brush and tooth paste with you to school or to the office! By brushing after every meal, you will cut down on the particles left behind in the brackets and wires. You also need to use a floss threader at least once a day to thoroughly clean between the brackets and under the wires. Removing as much plaque and particles from the mouth will help prevent any damage to the teeth and gums while wearing braces. Your dentist or orthodontist will do a more thorough cleaning at each visit, but it will be extremely helpful to you and your doctor if you practice your fair share of oral hygiene at home. Avoiding foods that are likely to become trapped in the braces, such as popcorn, nuts, candy, and beef jerky is also beneficial to caring for your mouth.
Caring for the mouth with braces is very similar to caring for a mouth without braces, but it does require just a bit more effort. But if you are making the investment in braces to enhance your smile, putting a bit more effort into caring for your mouth should be an easy choice. Maintaining optimal oral health will help to ensure that after wearing braces for months and months, your teeth will be ready to show off!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Brett Gluck, DMD, MS, PC
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