When you get braces to correct your smile, the process of completing treatment is far from passive. You’ll need to take the best care of your teeth while you have braces to ensure your treatment is a success.
One of the biggest differences you will notice when you have braces is the types of foods you can eat. The metal brackets and wires will be hard at work creating your new smile, and they’ll be vulnerable to breaking or bending if you aren’t careful. You will have to avoid chewy or crunchy foods like nuts, apples, hard candy, taffy, and granola, to keep your braces in good condition.
While it may be a big adjustment at first, you’ll quickly find new alternatives to your typical diet that you enjoy. Plus, the end results of getting your braces off in time and seeing your new smile will be worth it.
Avoid Sugary Foods
Similarly, you should avoid sugary foods while you have braces. While sugar won’t cause damage to your braces, it will cause damage to your teeth, which are more vulnerable to tooth decay with braces. This is because food gets trapped more easily against your teeth with the brackets and wires. By reserving sugary foods, as well as starchy foods like white bread, for special occasions, you will reduce your chances of tooth decay.
Steer Clear Foods that Stain Your Teeth
In the same vein, it’s also best to keep colorful foods that can stain your teeth to a minimum. Food items like barbeque sauce, ketchup, and coffee are all major culprits of teeth staining. Since your brackets cover part of your teeth, the rest of your teeth could end up being stained while the spots underneath your brackets maintain the same tone as before. When this happens, many patients experience white spots on their teeth when they have their braces removed rather than seeing the evenly colored smile they expected.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Of course, the best way you can take care of your teeth while you have braces is the best way to take care of your teeth all the time. However, when you have braces, you will need to be even more vigilant about regular cleaning. For optimal protection, brush your teeth after every meal and floss once per day. Getting a floss threader will make it far easier to floss every day.
It also helps to supplement your cleaning with mouthwash or using a water flosser. Just remember, water or air flossers aren’t a replacement for actual flossing.
Wear a Mouthguard
There are times when you may need to give your teeth some more direct protection when you have braces. If you play football, basketball, or any other sport with the potential for impacts, you should get an orthodontic mouthguard from your orthodontist to protect both your teeth and your braces.
To learn more about caring for your teeth with braces and to see if braces could be right for you, contact Smith Orthodontics to schedule your free consultation or start a free virtual consultation.