Braces can do wonderful things for your smile by giving you straighter teeth. However, they will require extra maintenance and it is important to clean during your treatment time. Maintaining your oral health while wearing braces is essential for the health and well-being of your teeth and gums as well as the success of your treatment.
Our Izadi Orthodontic team can help you develop a personalized oral hygiene routine that will help keep your braces, and your teeth stay clean and healthy. Our orthodontic care team will make personalized recommendations based on the style of braces or oral appliances you wear.
Brushing and flossing with braces can be challenging. Your dental care team will provide you with new techniques and make recommendations for specific products that can help keep your braces clean and free of debris.
Izadi Orthodontics commonly suggests brushing teeth more frequently during orthodontic treatment. Braces of any style can cause food to become trapped, and increase the risk of plaque and tartar buildup. Brushing your teeth after every meal and snack will ensure that you avoid serious tooth and gum problems.
Izadi Orthodontics may recommend the use of the following products:
- Toothpaste with fluoride
- Rotating electric toothbrush for metal braces or appliances
- Antibacterial rinses or mouthwash
- Dental floss picks
Oral Hygiene with Braces
Caring for your braces while you wear them can have a lifelong impact on your oral health. Patients who do not practice diligent oral hygiene run a higher risk of developing a range of dental concerns. There are a lot of tiny spaces in your braces where food can become trapped. It is very important to take the time each day to remove all food particles that become stuck in your braces.
If food is left there, it can lead to plaque and bacteria that can harm your teeth. Patients are encouraged to continue to visit the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and oral health exams to prevent tooth decay, tooth discoloration, and gum disease.
If you or your child with braces plays sports, we may recommend a custom-fit sports mouthguard. Mouthguards are designed to protect teeth and braces from damage or breakage during play as well as protect your gums. The care and maintenance of your braces is part of your orthodontic treatment. Our orthodontic care team will help you manage your health during treatment.
We also recommend avoiding certain foods that can potentially harm the components of the braces and the bracket. The general rule of thumb with braces is to avoid sticky, chewy, and hard food. These foods include:
- any hard, chewy, and sticky candy
- pretzels or any other hard chips
- ice gum
Healthy food that is harder to bite and chew should be cut down into smaller pieces or cooked to make them softer and easier to bite.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to buy special products to keep my braces in good condition?
No. You do not need to buy special toothpaste, creams, or other products to keep your braces in good condition. Your braces will remain effective as long as you are practicing excellent oral hygiene by brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes, twice a day (and flossing).
Can I still get routine teeth cleanings with braces?
Yes. It is twice as important to visit the dentist for routine dental cleanings when you are undergoing treatment with braces. Braces create small areas for bacteria to hide and thrive. When you go to the dentist for teeth cleaning, a dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup from around your braces.
Can braces irritate my gums?
There is a chance that braces can cause soft mouth tissue irritation, but this is rare. Sometimes the metal clasps can come loose and rub against your inner lips. Contact your orthodontist if your braces are causing irritation and we will assist you as soon as possible.
How do you maintain good dental hygiene with braces?
We recommend brushing and flossing at least twice a day to maintain proper hygiene. To clean between your teeth and along the gum line with braces, flossing is the best option. Flossing is less likely to damage brackets than other cleaning options.
What foods can you not have with braces?
Patients undergoing treatment with braces should avoid hard foods such as nuts, hard candy, and hard vegetables. We also recommend avoiding crunchy and chewy foods such as potato chips, popcorn, gum, and chewy candy. All of these foods will stick to your braces and cause discomfort and potential for broken brackets and wires.
How often should I get a cleaning with braces?
As a precaution, we may want to see you more frequently for cleanings and treatments if we see a buildup of plaque around your braces. You should visit your dentist for a cleaning every 4-6 months, to maintain and keep braces and teeth clean.
Are you looking for an orthodontist in Cockeysville, Hunt Valley, Sparks, Jacksonville, Greenspring, Mays Chapel, Lutherville, or Timonium, MD? Give us a call at (410) 919-9806, or request an appointment online today.