Ways to Take Care of Braces at Home

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Ways to Take Care of Braces at Home
Posted on 09/01/2020

Brieden Orthodontics: Your Expert for Braces in New Baltimore & St. Clair, MI

Dr. Christopher Brieden and all the staff at Brieden Orthodontics are committed to providing high quality care for the entire family, serving the New Baltimore and St. Clair, MI areas. As your orthodontic expert, we specialize in patients of all ages—from early treatment, to adolescent treatment, to adult treatment. So whether you are experiencing common orthodontic problems or need help with retention, we’ve got you covered. From your first visit, our office creates a custom orthodontic treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.

We know that for many patients, braces are a common solution to help you achieve the confident smile you deserve! Whether you’re interested in clear aligners, lingual braces, or more traditional options like metal or ceramic braces, we feature a comprehensive set of treatment selections to fit your every need. Our goal is to provide you with friendly and comfortable orthodontic care, to assist you in taking the steps to achieve a beautiful confident smile, and to help you maintain excellent overall oral health.

What Now? Tips for Maintaining Your Braces at Home

Brieden Orthodontics wants to educate our patients on what to do after you have received your orthodontic treatment and how to maintain your investment in a beautiful smile. We hope that you are already committed to a basic oral hygiene routine, but cleaning your braces involves extra dedicated attention day-to-day. Once you’ve begun your treatment and had your braces bonded, long-term dental hygiene is even more critical.

If you are able to maintain your braces properly, you’ll be delighted with your new smile when you are finally ready to get your braces off! However, there are both right ways and wrong ways to take care of your braces. Don’t worry—these tips will help you learn how to best clean and maintain your braces at home, as well a few things to avoid in order to get the most out of your new orthodontic investment.

Proper Brushing and Cleaning

When it comes time to brushing your teeth and braces, you should make sure to thoroughly clean every tooth, paying careful attention to each individual wire and bracket. Brush as you would normally, with a soft-bristled toothbrush, using fluoride toothpaste, for at least two minutes, and at least twice per day.

Brush carefully and gently over each surface to clear away any food particles, build up, or plaque—you can use small circular motions to gently clean and polish all areas of the teeth and braces. We also recommend special tools like a bristled interdental toothbrush (proxabrush) or water pick (oral irrigator) that can help you to more thoroughly clean the tiny spaces around bands, wires, and brackets.

You should also remember to brush your teeth after any meal or large snack—this prohibits food from becoming trapped and keeps harmful bacteria from forming in the brackets. It is important to keep on top of your oral hygiene routine to avoid extra trips to the dentist for cleanings and adjustments.

Remember to Floss

It is important to remember to floss at least once per day to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Flossing helps to remove any leftover debris that you may have missed with brushing. Flossing technique is just as important! To get into the small nooks and crannies of wires and brackets, we recommend a floss threader. You first pull one end of floss through the threader, push the threader under the archwire, then take the floss on each end and slide it up and down both sides of the tooth and under the gums until you hear a squeaking noise. Repeat this with a new section of floss for each tooth area. If you’re really serious about your oral hygiene, you should floss after every meal to keep your braces and teeth completely free of any leftover food particles.

Use (Even More) Caution with Your Braces

It is important to always use caution with hard or tough foods—but there are foods that can be even more damaging when it comes to braces. Harder foods like popcorn are commonly known as off limits with metal braces, since the hard kernels can cause a great deal of damage to your brackets. Softer foods are usually a safer choice, as they are easier to consume during your orthodontic treatment. We recommend the following foods to best preserve your braces and to make sure you still get good nutritional value:

  • Smoothies, milkshakes, soups, stews, and hot cereals—remember, softer foods are your friend
  • Cooked and raw vegetables and fruits
  • Breads, as long as they are soft on the outside
  • Pastas, rice, and other whole grains
  • Cooked meats like poultry and ground beef—tougher meats and steak should be avoided
  • There are a variety of other acceptable foods, just remember to avoid anything crunchy and hard, or too large food pieces that are difficult to chew and break down.

Just like you want to protect your braces from tough foods, you’ll also want to protect them from harsh contact. Mouthguards are always recommended and mandatory for most contact sports. But did you know there are some guards that are designed specifically to protect braces, offering optimal protection against any sort of contact.

You should also never use your teeth or braces as a tool to open bottles, packaging, or other items—this can cause severe damage, and may result in an emergency visit to the dentist. Damaging one or more brackets can also be extremely painful, and can impact your treatment time frame. We always recommend being as gentle as possible with your braces and brackets, to help you complete your treatment as soon as possible and achieve your best smile even faster!

Follow Your Orthodontist’s Advice

Remember to follow any and all instructions your orthodontist provides you. If you have any questions about taking care of your braces, your diet, or any other questions or concerns, always be sure to ask your orthodontist—we are here to help you with your treatment. We know that wearing braces isn’t always fun, but remember that braces are an important step towards achieving a beautiful healthy smile for life!

Contact Brieden Orthodontics for Braces Today!

If you have any questions about braces, retainers, or any other orthodontic treatment, please contact Brieden Orthodontics today! You can contact us via email, by using our online form, or directly by phone at both the New Baltimore (586-725-4411) and St. Clair, MI offices (810-329-6671). Schedule an appointment today—we look forward to helping you achieve your best smile!