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Braces are a significant investment in your dental health, promising a beautifully aligned smile at the end of the journey. However, maintaining braces requires a bit more effort and diligence in your daily oral hygiene routine. Proper care is crucial to ensure that your treatment progresses smoothly and effectively. Here are some essential tips to help you take care of your braces.

  1. Brush Thoroughly and Frequently
    With braces, food particles and plaque can easily get trapped in the brackets and wires. To prevent this, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after every meal. Here’s how to do it effectively:
  • Use the Right Toothbrush: Opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush or an electric toothbrush with a small head to navigate around the brackets.
  • Fluoride Toothpaste: Use fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel.
  • Technique Matters: Angle your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to clean around the brackets and wires. Brush the outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
  1. Floss Daily
    Flossing can be challenging with braces, but it’s essential for removing food particles and plaque from between your teeth and under the gumline. Here’s how to make it easier:
  • Use a Floss Threader: A floss threader helps you get the floss behind the wires.
  • Water Flosser: A water flosser can be a great alternative, using a stream of water to clean between your teeth and around braces.
  1. Rinse with Mouthwash
    Using an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash can help keep your mouth clean and reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Rinse with mouthwash daily, preferably after brushing and flossing.
  2. Avoid Certain Foods
    Certain foods can damage your braces or get stuck in them, leading to potential issues and prolonging your treatment. Avoid:
  • Sticky and Chewy Foods: Such as gum, caramel, and toffee.
  • Hard Foods: Like nuts, popcorn, and hard candies.
  • Crunchy Foods: Including raw carrots and apples (cut them into small pieces instead).
  • Sugary Foods and Drinks: To prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay.
  1. Protect Your Braces
    If you play sports, it’s important to wear a mouthguard to protect your braces and your teeth from injury. Your orthodontist can provide a specially designed mouthguard for braces.
  2. Regular Orthodontic Appointments
    Attend all your scheduled orthodontic appointments to ensure your braces are adjusted properly and to monitor your progress. If you experience any issues, such as broken brackets or wires, contact your orthodontist immediately.
  3. Handling Discomfort
    It’s normal to experience some discomfort after getting braces or following adjustments. Here are some tips to alleviate pain: Over-the-Counter Pain Relief: Take panadol or nurofen as needed. Orthodontic Wax: Apply orthodontic wax to any brackets or wires that are causing irritation. Saltwater Rinse: Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to soothe sore gums. Brace relief: Can be handy to numb any ulcers.
  1. Stay Committed to Your Treatment Plan
    Following your orthodontist’s instructions and staying committed to your treatment plan is crucial. This includes wearing rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances as prescribed.

Taking care of your braces is essential for achieving the best possible results in the shortest amount of time. By maintaining excellent oral hygiene, avoiding harmful foods, protecting your braces during physical activities, and staying on top of your orthodontic appointments, you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful, healthy smile. Remember, the effort you put in now will pay off with a lifetime of confident smiles.

Dr Amesha Maree

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