As you strictly follow your specific home dental care instructions you will begin to notice a difference in your smile. Following your prescribed instructions as well as these general at-home care habits will help your braces treatment and orthodontic care stay on schedule and keep your smile looking great throughout your treatment!
It is important to remember to brush your teeth frequently when you have braces. It is recommended that you brush your teeth any time you eat as well as in the morning and at night. Brushing regularly can help prevent staining, cavities, and problems with your braces. Good brushing habits will help you complete your braces treatment on schedule.
Flossing every morning and night as well as after every meal will help you care for your gums and prevent gum disease, white spots, cavities, and damage to your braces. Your orthodontist will show you how to properly floss your teeth and help you find a dental floss or flossing tool. It is important to get your floss through the arch wire so it can reach your gums and you can clean effectively between your teeth.
You should avoid harmful habits including chewing on hard objects such as ice, ends of pens, and fingernails or playing with your braces. These harmful habits can cause serious damage to your braces which not only increases your treatment time and expense, but also bends the arch wires which will move your teeth in the wrong direction.
When you have braces it is important to avoid hard foods which could cause damage to your braces and greatly increase your treatment time. Stick with soft foods and avoid hard or chewy foods such as nuts, caramels, ice, and stiff breads. Any damage to your brace appliances can cause serious damage and unwanted movement of the teeth.
Proper oral irrigation with water once a day can help prevent plaque and rid your mouth of harmful bacteria and food debris. This will help you prevent staining, increase your overall oral health, and keep your treatment time on schedule.
If you participate in athletic activities and sports you should always wear a mouth guard during these activities. Your orthodontist can help you find a mouth guard that fits your mouth properly and adequately protects your braces. If you choose to not wear a mouth guard when participating in sports you run the risk of serious damage to your mouth and braces as well as extending your treatment time significantly.
After your braces treatment is complete, it is important to consistently use your retainer and keep it clean. Always follow your orthodontist’s prescribed retainer treatment instructions to keep your smile beautiful and healthy.
Discomfort and Irritation
You may experience some discomfort and irritation immediately after you get your new braces or after an adjustment. You may also experience periodic discomfort throughout your treatment due to loose or broken wires and brackets. Most discomfort will resolve on its own. In the meantime you can get an over the counter oral analgesic and rinse with warm salt water to alleviate the pain. Placing wax around irritating wires can also help alleviate any discomfort you may be feeling from a broken wire.
Following your at-home care instructions will help you stay on track with your braces treatment and give you confidence in your smile.