Imagine you're minding your own business, experiencing the benefits of braces. They make you feel better every time you look in the mirror, and your oral health is improving.
Suddenly, you feel a poke on your cheek. You check in the mirror again, and you've broken a wire.
You've just damaged a long-term investment that costs over $5,000. Protecting it involves putting in the work to keep them clean and strong.
Read on to learn more about teeth maintenance with braces.
Brush Your Teeth and Floss
Your brackets will be sensitive for 24 hours after they're placed. After that, develop a dental care routine.
Follow the 72% of Canadians that brush their teeth twice a day or more. Look for a small toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste.
Cleaning braces requires careful tooth-brushing techniques. Hold the brush at a 45° angle to your gum line. Move in circles around your braces and teeth.
Spend at least 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth, and don't forget your tongue. Brush for at least two minutes.
An interdental brush can help you get into the spaces a regular brush misses. Slide it between the brackets and move up and down on both sides. Run it along the wires, then rinse with water.
Skipping floss leaves most of the surface of your teeth untouched. A water flosser is a useful tool. Use strong waxed floss and a threader to get under the wires.
End your routine by swishing mouthwash. Only 26% of Canadians use it, but it eliminates any remaining bacteria, plaque, or food particles.
73% of Canadians claim to eat a well-balanced diet. Less than 17% actually get the recommended five servings of fruit or vegetables, and only 5% get the recommended servings of grains.
Wearing braces doesn't mean you have to go on a diet, but it does mean you should watch what you eat.
Canadians eat almost 110 grams every day or 80 lbs of sugar every year. Cut back to keep your braces safe.
Other problem foods include anything sticky, chewy, or hard such as:
Corn on the cob
Acidic drinks such as orange juice or wine
They can loosen and damage your braces or stain your teeth or bands. When you do eat them, cut them into smaller pieces, then brush your teeth.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
42% of Canadians visited the dentist twice or more in the last year. 32% went once, and 26% didn't visit at all.
Go to your dentist for regular teeth maintenance, such as cleanings at least every six months. Visit your orthodontist for checks and adjustments.
They'll keep your teeth healthy, but they can also make them whiter. Your orthodontist can offer recommendations for teeth whitening treatments that are safe to use with braces.
The length of time you'll need to wear braces ranges from 6-36 months, with an average of 24 months. It varies widely depending on:
How crooked your teeth are
What types of braces you wear
The key is to be consistent throughout the process. Keep brushing and flossing, eating a proper diet, and visiting your dentist and orthodontist.
Who to Call for Teeth Maintenance with Braces
Proper teeth maintenance is essential when you have braces if you want to keep them long enough to get results.
Avoid problem foods that can damage them. Use proper brushing techniques and tools. Schedule regular dental checkups and stay consistent.
Contact GD Orthodontics for help with braces today.