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Tips for Oral Hygiene with Braces: Dental Health 101

Braces play an important role as it corrects overcrowded or misaligned teeth, which goes beyond improving your smile as having an abnormal bite can cause other dental problems such as gum disease or cavities. 

In that regard, maintaining proper oral hygiene when you have braces is essential as it can trap food and cause the development of tartar or calculus, which can stain your teeth and eventually lead to infection if it is left unattended. On that note, to keep your braces clean, here are some dental tips that should help you maintain a fresh and healthy smile!

Tip #1: Brushing with Braces

Food can easily get trapped inside and around the braces, which can result in plaque and cavity-causing bacteria to grow. On that note, brushing twice a day is the standard oral care recommendation, but people with braces should try to brush after every meal to avoid any food particles from hardening when it is left unclean even if it is just within a few hours. In that regard, be sure to use soft and round bristles and brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to clean around the wires and pins of your braces. It’s also important to rinse your mouth thoroughly to loosen any food lodged in and around your braces to avoid potential tooth decay, and on that note, using a fluoride rinse solution is an ideal way to keep your teeth clean, healthy, and strong.

Tip #2: Flossing with Braces

Before or after brushing your teeth, the ideal situation is to follow up with flossing as it helps get rid of stuck food particles in between the cracks of your teeth and metal wires of your braces, most of which are nearly impossible to brush off on your own. On that note, insert the short end of the floss through the space between the teeth or braces and use gentle motions when flossing. A floss threader, flosser, or wax floss are specifically designed for braces and other dental work, which can be easily bought at any local drug stores.

Tip #3: Watch What You Eat

One of the leading causes of cavities is food and drinks loaded with starch and sugar, which can be especially worse when you have braces. To that end, it’s best practice to start being more aware of your daily diet as eating too many sugary or starchy treats can cause plaque or tartar to build up around the brackets of your braces, which can cause cavities, gum disease, and eventually tooth decay. That means that it’s better to avoid sticky desserts like dried fruits, caramel, taffy, and chewing gum, as well as snacks like corn on the cob, nuts, ice, popcorn, and beef jerky. This is because these can become stuck and are hard to remove, as well as holds the potential to loosen or break the wires of your braces.

Tip #4: Waxing with Braces

Braces tend to chafe the inside of your lips, which can be painful and cause inflammation or small wounds. To avoid this, simply apply a special wax that is typically given by your dentist to avoid any painful scraping. Other than your dentist, wax for braces can also be bought at any drug store.

If you’re looking for a local dentist to help you with your dental health, get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

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