If you want a straighter, brighter, and happier smile after braces, it’s vital that you care for your braces, keep your teeth clean, and avoid damaging foods. Oral hygiene involves a few more steps when you have braces, but the results are well worth the extra effort. Here’s your guide to braces maintenance and care.

Start with the Right Tools

Proper braces maintenance and care start with choosing the right tools. Wires and brackets create obstacles when brushing and flossing your teeth, so there are special toothbrushes and flossing tools you can use to reach these tight spaces. Both manual and electric toothbrushes work well, but make sure the brush has soft, flexible bristles that can work around your brackets. A proxabrush also helps you reach underneath your wires.

Flossing is a little more difficult. A floss threader will help you weave your floss behind your wires. A Waterpik, also called a water flosser, is another helpful tool.

Brush & Rinse Regularly

Brushing your teeth twice daily is more important than ever when you have braces. Because food can get trapped between wires and brackets, bacteria growth and tooth decay are more likely, leading to white spots after braces. Plaque can develop in as little as five minutes once food sits on the teeth! Between brushing, you should rinse after every meal and snack to dislodge any food particles.

Don’t forget to make flossing part of your braces maintenance and care routine! Flossing is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent tooth decay.

Avoid Certain Foods

There are several foods you should avoid if you want to keep your braces in tip-top shape. These foods include:

  • Nuts & seeds
  • Chewy, sticky, or gummy candy
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • Whole fruit
  • Bagels
  • Bone-in meat (like ribs or wings)

Stay away from certain drinks, like sodas or sports drinks. These sugar-heavy drinks have acid that can wear away your enamel and lead to teeth stains. If you indulge in a sugary drink, rinse with water after.

Finally, while ice, nails, and pencils don’t count as food, we still see many patients break their wires because they have a habit of chewing on these items during moments of deep thought or anxiety. Avoid these bad habits to prevent damage or even injury.

Don’t Fix Your Broken Braces

What if the worst happens and your braces break? Don’t try to fix them at home with DIY methods! This can cause further damage. Instead, call our office to schedule an emergency appointment. We’ll get you in for a repair as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can use orthodontic wax to prevent irritation.

Schedule Regular Visits

You’ll never have to worry about maintaining your braces alone! We recommend patients visit our office every four weeks or so. That way, we can check in on your progress and braces maintenance.

Are you ready to learn more about braces? Schedule an appointment with our team. We have offices in Reading and Allentown, so affordable quality care is never far from home. Our expert team has helped thousands of patients straighten their smiles with braces. Now, it’s your turn to discover the difference Exeter Smiles can make.