Dental braces are used to straighten your teeth and align your bite to give you that perfect smile. Dental braces also help to improve the function of your teeth by aligning your bite, which reduces the chance of wear, chipping of teeth and gum recession. Dental braces can be tricky to clean, but it is crucial to make sure to keep your teeth and gums healthy while wearing dental braces.
An electric toothbrush is a pivotal component in keeping your teeth healthy with braces. An electric toothbrush can clean your teeth better than a manual toothbrush and can access around brackets, bands and the wire better than a manual toothbrush. Make sure to brush at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time.
A water flosser is a type of powered floss that sprays a jet of water. The jet of water should be angled between teeth and around the brackets to flush out bacteria. A water flosser is particularly useful for getting into difficult to access areas.
Superfloss/ Floss Threaders
These are floss aids that help to get the floss underneath the archwire and between the teeth. Super floss is a pre-cut piece of floss with a rigid end on it that can poke between the teeth, and floss threaders are loops that can pull regular floss between teeth.
Fluoride is very useful in preventing cavities. It is especially vital with braces, as the risk for cavities may be higher. Fluoride can be used in the form of toothpaste and mouth rinse. Make sure not to eat, drink or rinse your mouth for 30 minutes after using fluoride to get the best effect.
What Foods Should You Avoid?
It is essential to avoid the following foods to prevent issues with braces, such as a bracket popping off.
- Gum (this is too sticky and can get caught around brackets)
- Candy, caramels (any sugary foods)
- Crunchy foods such as popcorn and ice
- Hard foods such as nuts
- Make sure to cut your vegetables up instead of biting into them such as carrots and corn on the cob