Braces give you hope of a better smile, a smile of your dreams. But to get that beautiful smile you need to take care that braces do their job as they are intended to do. Remember that to get the braces fitted, you have invested your time and effort and have sacrificed a lot of things that you would do otherwise, not to mention the cost.
It is imperative to look after your braces since you have invested so much in them, and you expect so much from them. Here are some tips offered by experts in the field which will give the optimum results at the end of your treatment if you follow them faithfully.
What are the factors that impact the effectiveness of braces?
The factors that affect the performance of your braces include eating habits, lifestyle habits, cleanliness habits and your general well-being.
Cleanliness of your mouth is the most significant for the successful orthodontic treatment. If due to lack of cleanliness of your oral cavity, you develop cavities, or gum disease, then your orthodontic treatment can go off the track and you will have to wait longer for the treatment to get over, which will be very frustrating. Eating habits affect the dental hygiene and therefore you must be mindful of what you eat.
Maintain good eating habits
Food is an important part of life and most important part of the teeth. What you eat and how you eat it is a very important factor that affects your life. During the period that your braces are on, your eating habits can make or break your dream of a beautiful smile.
Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
Eating a nutritious meal is very essential. Since keeping your braces clean at all times is your goal, you need to eat healthy food that strengthen your teeth. These foods include: Cranberries (for they contain polyphenols), black tea for rinsing the mouth with, milk which contains calcium and phosphorous for healthy teeth, green leafy vegetables for folic acid, and calcium and minerals, and raisins for phytochemicals.
It is advisable to eat a balanced diet. Although you are advised to eat softer foods, you should not miss essential elements of healthy diet. Try to include all the groups of nutrients like protein, fat, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals in your meals.
Some foods to avoid
Avoid foods that are highly acidic because they can erode enamel. During the period when your braces are on, avoid eating hard and crunchy foods which can stress the wire and damage your braces. Do not eat corn on the cob, caramels, ice, hard candy and raw vegetables, and fruit that has to be bitten into, (cut them in pieces and then eat), gummy treats, and sticky candy. Sticky foods have a tendency to get stuck on your teeth and breed bacteria.
Try to eat softer foods which do not require strenuous chewing.
Pay special attention to oral hygiene
Proper oral hygiene routine is the key to successful treatment for braces. If anything disturbs the oral hygiene then you will not be able to keep your schedule tight and as planned which will delay your treatment.
Brush and floss regularly
Brushing and flossing is necessary at all times, but it is especially necessary when you wear braces. Keep your brackets clean so that gum disease can be kept at a distance.
Brushing alone is not enough to clean your mouth. You must floss your teeth regularly to remove remnants of food stuck between your teeth. In addition to cleaning between the teeth, you need to clean every place between the wire, brackets and teeth.
Use special cleaning tools designed for braces
There are special dental cleaning tools available in the market which can help you clean your teeth between brackets. These tools have interdental brushes which is used for cleaning the spaces between brackets, wires and teeth.
An interdental toothbrush has a flat handle and soft nylon bristles, tiny enough to reach the nooks and crannies of the braces, wires, and brackets. You can use this brush before flossing so that all food particles can be flushed out after flossing. Get floss threader which is a device like needle and thread, that can be inserted into hard-to-reach places and floss.
It is vital to change your toothbrushes more often while you are on braces, because there is an increased need to use it. You brush has a lot of wear and tear during this period because of the brackets and the wire. Use soft bristled brush as to be gentle on the wires and brackets, because we do not want to dislodge the wire or brackets. You can ask your orthodontist to help you with how and where you can get these dental tools.
Clean after every meal
It is advisable to brush and clean after every major meal you have. Brush for at least 5 minutes each time you brush and floss. Use interdental brush to get rid of all food particles stuck between arch wire and the brackets. And then brush and floss. Be gentle on your gums when you floss, because if you irritate the gums with your floss, there is the danger of the gums getting injured and develop inflammation. Do not hesitate to spend a little more time for brushing and flossing.
Use fluoride toothpastes and mouth washes, as fluoride helps in keeping the teeth healthy. You can get a prescription from your orthodontic for good fluoride toothpaste and mouth wash. A skilled dentist may give you in-office cleaning to keep your teeth and gums healthy during this period.
Take up the responsibility of oral hygiene
It is your responsibility to see that your schedule for the period months you will wear braces is kept up. If you take oral hygiene lightly, be assured that your schedule will also change and your waiting period for your dream smile will also get delayed.
Maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing braces is important. Bacteria can grow on the surface of any bracket if they’re not brushed off regularly – which can lead to bad breath! So make sure that every time after you brush your teeth and floss that you also clean the brackets to keep them clean and free of bacteria.