Caring For Your Braces
Braces are one of the most common orthodontic appliances available today. If you have recently received braces, you may be wondering about their proper care and maintenance. Taking good care of your braces can increase the longevity of your appliance, prevent potential problems, and preserve your oral health.
At Raleigh Family Orthodontics, we believe patient education is the foundation of safe and successful treatment. Armed with the right information, orthodontic treatment with braces should be a breeze. However, the added responsibility needed to properly care for braces is something both you or your child should prepare for.
Braces can present unique challenges during your daily oral hygiene routine. Conventional braces consist of metal brackets linked together by a thin metal wire. The wire is held in place by a series of elastic bands. Without the proper maintenance, each one of these components gives bacteria, plaque, and food debris ample opportunity to collect and cause damage.
When wearing braces, your teeth and gums are at an increased risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease if you do not use the proper brushing and flossing techniques. Be sure to use an ADA-approved toothbrush to prevent the buildup of plaque around the brackets, bands, and wires. It helps to pay special attention to these areas, especially after meals and before bed.
Flossing in between your teeth and around the components of your appliance is also paramount to your oral health. We typically recommend a special type of floss that is easier to thread around the wire and brackets. Be sure to floss gently and thread carefully, because too much force when flossing can damage your braces.
There are some foods to avoid during your treatment with braces. For instance, hard or sticky foods can quickly damage your appliance or result in tooth decay in hard-to-clean areas. Once you receive your braces, our orthodontists will provide a detailed list of foods to avoid.
While you should avoid things like hard candies, gummy candies, and popcorn outright, we understand that certain foods are tougher to eliminate. Foods like crunchy vegetables and fruits, dense or chewy breads like bagels and pizza, and meat on the bone should be eaten with care. In most cases, cutting these foods into smaller pieces can help prevent potential problems.
Problem With Your Braces?
Even with good oral hygiene and proper food practices, you may still experience a problem with your braces at some point during treatment. If you or your child plays sports, we may recommend a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance. If you do experience a loose bracket or wire, be sure to schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.
Most problems with braces are minor issues. Be extra careful with a broken wire or sharp edge. You can use orthodontic wax to reduce discomfort until you can visit our office. Never attempt to fix an appliance on your own. If you have any questions, or the problem is severe, be sure to call us immediately. We may be able to walk you through the problem step-by-step.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you are having trouble with your braces, be sure to visit us as soon as possible. Call (984) 254-0585 to schedule your appointment now!