Taking Care Of Your Braces

Braces are a great way to improve your smile and your dental health. Once you start wearing braces, you will want to take good care of them in order to keep them looking their best. Braces need to be kept clean and polished at all times in order to maintain the appearance of your smile. By taking good care of them, you can help avoid dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Watch our instructional video on the best way to take care of your braces.

How To Take Care Of Your Braces?

  1. Using your home care kit – The home care kit has all the tools you’ll need to take care of your braces. There’s a toothbrush, floss, floss, shredder, proxy brush wax and a food list. Following the instructions and using the kit properly will ensure a healthy mouth and a happy smile.

  2. Step-by-step guide on how to brush your teeth with braces – Move your toothbrush in a circular motion and at three different angles on the top of the braces, bottom of the braces and front of the braces. Spend at least 30 seconds in each spot. Then, brush along the gum line, starting with the top of the braces, brush down with just enough pressure to get the tips of the bristles under the wire brush from one side to the other side. Next brush underneath the braces with just enough pressure to get the tips of the bristles under the wire go from one side to the other side several times. Lastly, brush directly on top of the braces and wire, repeating the same motions. Remember to gently brush the gum line too. The gum line is where your teeth and gums meet. This will help ensure your gums do not get swollen during treatment. Don’t forget to brush your chewing surfaces and the very back of your teeth. We recommend brushing for at least 3 minutes to ensure all surfaces are clean.

    You’ll want to brush your teeth 3 to 4 times a day, or at least after every meal.

  3. Flossing with braces – Pull 3 to 5 inches of floss through the loop at the end of the floss spreader, then thread the floss spreader under the wire and gently go between your teeth, hugging the sides of each tooth, then remove the floss and repeat between every tooth.

  4. How to use a proxy brush – A proxy brush is used between the brackets and under the wire to loosen food particles, remove plaque and stimulate the gums. To use it push the brush gently under the wire and between the brackets. If it’s hard to push the brush into an area, don’t force it because you could break a bracket, only use it in areas where you can apply gentle pressure.

  5. When and how to use orthodontic wax – As you’re getting used to your braces, you may feel a small wire poking your cheek. If you do, use some orthodontic wax to cover that area. Pinch off a small piece of wax and soften it by rolling it between your fingertips. Then place the wax over the spot that is bothering you. Remember to remove the wax before eating or brushing. If you don’t and you actually swallow some, but don’t worry, it is not harmful. If a brace is irritating your cheek place a small piece of wax on the offending bracket. If you’re feeling an achy sensation, you can take Motrin or Tylenol to relieve any discomfort. We prefer Tylenol over ibuprofen when possible. It is compared to when your muscles are sore after a hard workout, typically any discomfort goes away after 48 to 72 hours.

  6. What to do when you have an accident – Accidents can and will happen. If at any time you break a bracket or a wire, don’t worry, it’s not an emergency. Just call the office on the next working day to let us know. We’ll let you know if it’s necessary to come in and have the brace fixed before your next scheduled appointment. It’s important that we know if a bracket is broken before your regularly scheduled appointment.

  7. What foods you should avoid with braces – We ask you to avoid hard, crunchy foods, things like hard nuts, dry cereal, popcorn, corn, Doritos, Fritos, jolly ranchers, pizza crust meat on bones, chewing ice or any foods like these. Another tip is to cut your fruits and veggies into small bite sized pieces instead of biting into them. We also want you to avoid sticky, chewy foods such as Carmel’s Taffy Skittles or any food like these.

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