Caring for Your Braces at Home
At Botsford Family Orthodontics, we understand that maintaining oral hygiene can be a challenge, especially with fixed orthodontic appliances. But don't worry-we've got you covered!
Below are some tips for how you and all our patients in Medford can maintain good oral hygiene over the course of their smile journey.
When we place your appliances, we'll take the time to guide you on how to brush and floss effectively with your new hardware. Our friendly team will ensure you're equipped with the knowledge and tools to keep your smile in top shape throughout your orthodontic journey.
Why Is Excellent Oral Hygiene So Crucial?
Poor oral care can lead to decalcification of the enamel, resulting in permanent white scars that signal the early stages of decay.
And guess what? Once those scars appear, they're not going away! That's why prevention is our top priority.
But that's not all. Neglecting oral hygiene can also put you at risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and even bone loss around the roots of your teeth.
We genuinely care about your oral health, which is why we want your smile to shine brilliantly when your appliances are finally removed!
Doing Your Part
As the patient, you play a key role in making sure your treatment is a success.
Below are some helpful reminders to ensure you enjoy the best possible grin at the end of your smile journey:
When to Clean
Remember to brush thoroughly after each meal or snack. If brushing isn't possible right away, a good rinse with water will do the trick until you can brush properly.
For added convenience, keep a travel toothbrush with you for those moments away from home.
And, before you hit the sack, dedicate some time to brush your teeth and braces thoroughly until they shine. It may take a little extra effort, but it's totally worth it!
We know flossing may not be your favorite activity, but it's crucial to keep your smile at its best.
When wearing braces, a floss threader can be your best friend. It helps you get underneath the wires to reach those tight spaces between your teeth.
Here are some handy tips to make flossing with braces a breeze:
- Floss every night before bedtime for a thorough cleaning.
- Utilize a floss threader for easy access under the archwire.
- Take care to clean along and under the gumlines for optimal oral health.
- Practice flossing every night-it'll be a challenge at first, but soon you'll be a pro!
To reduce inflammation and promote healing for your cheeks and gum tissues, consider using a hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse.
Additionally, saltwater rinses can also help reduce inflammation and irritation of your gum tissues.
Don't forget to schedule regular dental appointments for cleanings while your appliances are in place. Our goal is to ensure you get a beautiful, healthy smile at the completion of your orthodontic treatment.
Brush your teeth at least twice daily to reduce the risk of decalcification and decay. Aim to brush four to five times a day, especially after meals, to remove all food particles.
When brushing with braces, use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush in good condition. Since braces can wear out bristles quickly, replace your toothbrush at the first sign of wear.
Brush around all parts of your braces and teeth, including fronts, sides, and backs-even your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
A clean and shiny brace is a happy brace, and that's how you know you're doing it right!
Foods to Avoid
Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods as they can cause damage to your appliances. We know accidents happen, but frequent appliance breakages due to neglect might extend your treatment time.
While your appliances are designed to withstand a certain level of force, excessive pressure from eating restricted foods or chewing on pens or pencils can cause problems.
If you're wearing braces, a few adjustments in your eating habits can go a long way, including:
- Cutting meat off the bone and corn off the cob to avoid breaking a bracket
- Slicing hand-held foods like bagels, hard fruits, and raw vegetables into manageable pieces and chewing with your back teeth
Remember to remove your clear aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water.
And, whether you're using braces or aligners, enjoy sugary foods and snacks-especially soda-only in moderation.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
At Botsford Family Orthodontics, we're here to support you every step of the way to make sure your orthodontic journey is as smooth and rewarding as possible. So let's get started on that path to your dream smile together!