Brushing & Flossing
With braces, oral hygiene is more important than ever. That’s because braces have tiny spaces where food particles and plaque get trapped, and insufficient cleaning while wearing braces can cause enamel staining and tooth decay around brackets or bands.
Be sure to brush carefully after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and check your teeth in the mirror to make sure they’re clean. Take time to floss between braces and under wires with the help of a floss threader. Waterpik Power flosser can be a useful tool (substitute for floss threaders) and is always available in our office for purchase. Additionally, visit the dentist to have your teeth cleaned every six months to keep your gums and teeth healthy.
A careful orthodontic patient can probably eat almost any food and not damage the appliance (braces). However, these three types of food may cause trouble:
1.HARD FOODS may do damage by bending the wires, loosening the cement under the bands, or breaking the brackets and tubes that are attached to the bands. Some of the foods of this type are listed below with ways they may be eaten — if practical.
CORN ON THE COB ~ Should be cut off the cob.
RAW CARROTS ~ Cut into carrot “curls” which are thin. Chew with the back teeth.
CELERY ~ Chew with the back teeth.
APPLES ~ Cut into wedges.
POPCORN ~ ABSOLUTELY NOT!! The hard kernels are murder on the wires and brackets! The husks can get trapped between teeth and gums causing serious swelling and infection.
HARD BREAD ~ Tear off pieces and DON’T bite into the crust with the front teeth.
ICE CUBES ~ DON’T chew ice cubes!
BONES ~ DON’T CHEW ON BONES!
2. STICKY FOODS damage appliances by bending the wires and pulling the cement seal loose. Stay away from gummy bears, taffy, sugar daddies, caramels, and suger gum.
3. FOODS HIGH IN SUGAR CONTENT should be avoided–especially between meals! Brush your teeth thoroughly and immediately after eating any really sweet foods or snacks.