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How Do I Take Care of My Braces?
Problems with your teeth alignment don’t just affect how confident you are in your smile. The position of your teeth influences how you talk, how well you can chew your food, and even how well you can clean them every day.
If you’re about to get braces to straighten your teeth and improve your bite, you might wonder what you need to do to properly care for them.
Keep reading this short blog post to learn more:
Taking Care of Braces: Four Main Steps
Braces impose a bit of a learning curve, as you will need to make some minor adjustments through your treatment to ensure you properly care for your teeth and the braces.
Here are four major steps you need to take:
- Clean Your Teeth Daily
Daily oral hygiene is always important, but it’s even more important if you have braces on. If you’re not careful, food can become trapped around the brackets or in between the wires, which could increase your risk for cavities and gum disease.
Harmful bacteria in your mouth feed on food particles and release acid that slowly breaks down the enamel, causing cavities. Bacteria also accumulate on the teeth and form plaque, which over time hardens and becomes tartar. This eventually leads to gum disease, a serious infection.
When wearing braces, you need to be even more diligent with your oral hygiene and clean your teeth after every meal.
- Avoid Certain Foods for a While
Braces are more fragile than they look, and some foods need to be avoided throughout your treatment.
- Hard candy
- Chewing gum
- Hard bread crusts
- Crunchy foods like fresh carrots
Anything hard will require you to place extra pressure on your teeth and, subsequently, the braces. This can damage the wires and require replacement.
Moreover, some of these foods can chip and become stuck between the teeth or your wires, making it more difficult to clean your teeth.
- Keep up With Your Follow-up Appointments
You’ll need several follow-up appointments with your orthodontist, and it’s important not to miss any of them.
During these visits, the orthodontist makes sure the teeth follow the correct re-alignment path and may tighten the braces to continue your treatment. They can also be useful for spotting any oral health issues, like cavities.
- Manage Your Pain
When braces are tightened, it’s normal to feel pressure or even pain, though it usually only lasts for a few days until your teeth adjust.
To manage your pain, you can take OTC medication or gently massage your gums. A cold compress could also help reduce the discomfort.
How Aristo Dental Can Help
Come see Dr. Sandra Aristodemo for a consultation to discover your most optimal path toward healthy, straight teeth!