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How to Take Care of Your Braces

Dentist Oak Park

While braces are an excellent, proven method to align your teeth and give you a beautiful smile, they do require a bit more maintenance to ensure your mouth remains in good health. To keep your braces and your smile in good condition, be sure to follow these four easy steps.

1. Brush your teeth thoroughly.

It is particularly important to keep your teeth clean when you have braces. Without a proper brushing routine, food particles and plaque can easily be trapped in your teeth. This leads to tooth decay, gingivitis, and various other oral health issues. Therefore, when you brush your teeth with braces, be sure to take the following steps.

  • First, take off your elastics and other removable parts of your orthodontic device.
  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush each tooth with individual, tooth-wide strokes.
  • Clean the enamel around the wires and brackets of your braces.
  • Then, brush from the top of the wire with the bristles facing downward toward the device.
  • Brush the inner surfaces and chewing surfaces thoroughly.
  • Rinse with water or mouth rinse, examining your teeth and braces in a mirror to check that all food debris has been cleared out.

We recommend that you brush at least twice a day and after every meal when you have braces. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to ensure you’re cleaning your teeth effectively. By brushing your teeth effectively and often, you can keep your teeth in good health throughout your orthodontic treatment.

2. Floss after your meals.

We know that flossing can be tedious, especially when you have braces. However, it is even more important to floss after your meals when you have braces. Food particles can easily become stuck in your teeth and brackets, causing the bacteria in plaque to wreak havoc on your dental enamel. To floss effectively, just follow these simple steps:

  • Thread the floss carefully between the tooth and the wire of your braces.
  • Gently work the floss back and forth between the teeth and braces. (You might consider getting a floss threader to assist you with this process.)
  • Floss between the teeth and gums.

Remember to avoid flossing too forcefully when you have braces, as pulling too hard can cause damage to the device.

3. Avoid foods that can damage or loosen your brackets.

It is important to avoid certain foods while you have braces—otherwise, you may risk damaging or loosening the brackets on your teeth. You’ll want to skip any foods that are too hard, sticky, or chewy. This includes popcorn, nuts, chewing gum, caramels, hard candy, etc. You should also be cautious about chewing on non-food items such as your nails or pens, as these can cause damage to your device as well.

4. Maintain your appointments with your orthodontist.

In order for your orthodontic treatment to be successful, it is important that you maintain your regular visits to the office. This will allow us to make adjustments to your appliance as well as spot any oral health issues like tooth decay and gingivitis. It is also particularly important to visit your orthodontist immediately if your braces break or become loose. Your orthodontist will be able to reattach a loose bracket or fix a broken wire to ensure the device works properly and doesn’t cause any damage to your mouth.

Are you considering getting braces to straighten your teeth and give you a beautiful smile? Contact Oak Park Dental Group today to schedule your appointment!

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Have any questions or comments for us? Need to schedule a dental appointment? Send us a message and we’ll get back to you shortly! If you have an emergency or need to reschedule an appointment, please call our office at: (773) 889-9100