Straighter, Healthier Smiles: Caring for Your Braces

Orthodontic BracesHave you ever worn braces as a teenager? Just started wearing them as an adult? They can be a little painful, especially during the first few weeks. Plus, there will be certain food and beverages that will be off-limits for the duration of your time wearing braces. While these may let you down, don’t worry; the results will benefit your oral and overall health.

The use of braces is to help fix overbites, underbites, crooked teeth, and teeth that may be too close or too far apart. But, while the braces do their part in fixing your teeth, you have to do your part by taking care of them. American Family Orthodontics shares a list of things you should remember when taking care of your braces.

Brushing

The standard recommendation is brushing at least twice or thrice a day. But, with braces, you might have to brush your teeth after every meal. This includes snacking in the middle of the day. Food particles get easily stuck in the braces and the longer they stay that way, the greater the risk you’re putting yourself at in developing oral health problems. You can use either an electric toothbrush or a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles.

Flossing

Apart from brushing, flossing your teeth at least twice a day is important. Get under those wires, too! You can use a floss threader, orthodontic flosser, or waxed floss. Compared to unwaxed floss, waxed floss easily slides between teeth and is less likely to get caught in the braces.

Eating the Right Food

As mentioned, there are certain types of food to avoid when wearing braces. This includes corn, chewing gum, dried fruits, hard candy, taffy, ice, beef jerky, and popcorn. For crunchy food such as croutons, make sure to cut them into small pieces before eating them.

Protection

Do you play sports? Make sure to wear a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect your mouth, especially since you’re wearing braces.

You have to take care of your oral health even more now that you have braces. The cleaner your mouth is, the more comfortable and effective your braces will be.