3 Tips for Properly Maintaining Your Braces

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If you’ve recently been saddled with braces, you’ve most likely figured out by now that you have to put more effort into your oral care routine than you did before you had braces. They require constant attention to prevent excess food causing damage to your gums and yellowing the teeth around your brackets. If you want to make sure that your braces are well-taken care of and that your teeth look just as good as they did the day you had the braces put on, take a look at the tips below.

1. Use the right type of brush

Those who use hard-bristled brushes are especially susceptible to food building up around the brackets and in the spaces of the teeth behind the wire. These brushes can’t reach the places that you need to clean most and could possibly damage your braces. If you want to prevent this, purchase a toothbrush with softer bristles. Softer bristles will help you to reach every area around your teeth since the bristles have no restrictions to how far they can bend.

If you want a toothbrush that is geared towards people with braces, you should consider purchasing an orthodontic toothbrush. An orthodontic toothbrush has v-shaped bristles, which are designed to reach the areas around your brackets. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can find the regular orthodontic toothbrushes for as cheap as $3 or electronic orthodontic toothbrushes for as high as $200 online.

2. Use floss threaders

Floss threaders are small, floss-like devices that have a loop through which you can place your floss. Once you have placed your floss through the loop, you take the floss-threader and place it under your wire and pull it through to the other side. This helps to get the floss behind the wire and makes it easier to reach the gaps in-between your teeth. If you have trouble flossing with braces, these devices will make the process easier. If you would prefer not to use floss threaders, you can use a heavier, wider type of floss that will be easier to get underneath your wires.

3. Avoid certain types of foods

Most foods are generally okay to eat with braces, however, foods that are hard, chewy, crunchy, or sticky should be avoided at all costs. Orthoworld, LLC said, “Certain foods have the ability to get stuck anywhere in your braces and will be hard to remove or have the ability to damage the braces by breaking them or by moving the wire.” Some foods that are hard, such as apples or corn on the cob, can be eaten if they are sliced or cut into pieces.

Drinks that should be avoided include soda and fruit juices. These types of drinks contain high sugar levels and high acidity levels. Both acidic drinks and sugary drinks can wear down the glue behind the brackets which will end up completely removing the bracket from your tooth. These types of drinks will also wear down your enamel and while your bracket can be reattached when you visit your orthodontist, your enamel cannot be repaired. If you do choose to have one of these drinks, however, you must drink them through a straw to make sure that you minimize the damage done to your braces and to your enamel.

Those who have braces will discover that it takes a lot of work to maintain them. However, if you are serious about your oral health and about getting a better smile, making sure that your braces and your teeth are well-taken care of will ensure that you have a whiter, straighter smile at the end of the process.

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Kelly is DailyU’s lead blogger. She writes on a variety of topics and does not limit her creativity. Her passion in life is to write informative articles to help people in various life stages.

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