After you start to wear dental braces, it is essential to keep the devices clean to prevent problems such as bad breath or gum disease. There are different types of braces, including traditional metal or ceramic devices. In some cases, a dentist can put braces on the backs of your teeth, and you must keep the items clean to avoid developing cavities in your teeth. Your dentist and her dental hygienist will teach you how to keep your braces clean, using these six tips.
Clean Braces Tip 1: Follow the Proper Dietary Guidelines
Your dentist will give you a written list of foods that you should never eat while wearing braces. Not only will following the rules on the list prevent broken wires and brackets, but also, you can keep your braces cleaner. Avoid eating these foods while wearing braces:
• Caramel candies – this food will stick to your braces
• Potato or corn chips – pieces of these foods will collect underneath the wires
• Fibrous vegetables – the fibers from some vegetables will wrap around the wires
• Nut butters – peanut or almond butter will stick to your braces
• Tough meat – sections of tough meat will also stick between your teeth
• Brightly colored foods – foods with bright colors can stain your brackets
While wearing braces, consume softer foods such as casseroles or soups that won’t stick to your braces or between your teeth.
Clean Braces Tip 2: Rinse Your Mouth with Water Frequently
Make sure to rinse your mouth with water frequently to remove food and beverage debris. You can do this several times a day by keeping a bottle of water with you to drink before and after meals. If you feel as though there is food stuck between your teeth, then swish water around in your mouth to help dissolve and remove the debris. Before using mouthwashes, talk to your orthodontist about the best brands to use to avoid staining the brackets and wires of your braces.
Clean Braces Tip 3: Brush Your Teeth At Least Twice a Day
You should continue to brush your teeth at least twice a day to remove beverage and food debris. Make sure to use the type of toothbrush and toothpaste that your orthodontist recommends. If you want to keep your braces clean, then brush your teeth after each meal or snack. You may need to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you to school or work so that you can brush your teeth several times a day. An orthodontist may recommend a type of interdental brush to remove food particles that are stuck around brackets or underneath wires.
Clean Braces Tip 4: Learn How to Floss Your Teeth
Learning how to floss your teeth while wearing braces is a challenge, but it will help you to remove small food particles that look unattractive and that will cause halitosis. Buy the variety of floss that your orthodontist recommends so that you won’t damage your braces with any substances such as dyes or waxes. To remove food particles, you may need to have several types of dental floss to use between your teeth or underneath the wires.
Clean Braces Tip 5: Use an Oral Irrigator
Buy an oral irrigator that emits highly pressurized streams of water. This machine holds water in a tank, and the water flows into a wand. With an oral irrigator, you can pass the wand over your teeth to blast away any food particles that were missed while you were brushing and flossing. Experts recommend using an oral irrigator at least once a week to remove additional food and beverage debris.
Clean Braces Tip 6: Continue to Visit Your Dentist and Orthodontist
Make sure to continue visiting your orthodontist and dentist at the proper intervals. A dental hygienist can clean food debris and plaque from your teeth while you are wearing traditional or lingual braces. He can also teach you how to brush and floss your teeth better so that you don’t have dirty braces and bad breath. If you are wearing braces, then you must visit your orthodontist every six to eight weeks. You should also continue to have a checkup with your dentist every six months.