Five Tips in Caring for Your Braces during Orthodontic Treatment

braces

LAST UPDATED: MARCH 28, 2017

When wearing braces on your teeth, there are several important measures you should practice regularly to take good care of both your braces and your teeth. Especially when your teeth are first fitted with braces, you need to avoid eating certain foods and snacks. For the first couple of days, while getting accustomed to your new braces, eat soft foods. By not eating hard breads, raw carrots or apples and thick or tough servings of meat, you will avoid getting food particles stuck between the braces and your teeth and gums.

FAQ

What are some foods that should be avoided?

Refrain from munching on hard candies, nuts and gooey or sticky snacks that can become lodged in your braces. These food types can separate the braces’ brackets from your teeth. They can also reshape connecting wires and weaken the dental cement that binds brace bands and teeth together. It is necessary to observe these habits until you and your mouth become used to your new orthodontic appliances.

What are the different types of braces?

There are three major types of orthodontic braces recommended by an orthodontist:

Metal Braces. – The most commonly worn type of dental appliances today is new and improved metal braces. These quality stainless steel braces correct the alignment of teeth by means of their metal arch-wires and brackets. Many young people use colored elastic bands to add color and character to their smiles.

Clear Braces. – Clear ceramic braces are much less noticeable than metal braces. They are often favored by patients in their late teens and by adults for cosmetic reasons. Because ceramic orthodontic appliances are larger in size and less flexible than metal braces, they need more attention to maintain good dental hygiene. These clear braces are worn most frequently on the upper front teeth for alignment correction.

Invisible Orthodontic Appliances. – Invisible (completely clear) braces like Invisalign® braces straighten teeth with use of easy-to-wear, removable and invisible aligners. Since these orthodontic appliances are removable, you need not worry about what you eat. You can enjoy your favorite meals and snacks without concern about damaging or clogging your braces with hard or sticky foods. With your braces removed, you can easily floss and brush your teeth as usual. These braces will not cause mouth irritations, scrapes or cuts since they contain no metal parts.

FAQ: Do Orthodontic Braces Cause White Spots on Teeth?

 

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How can I take care of my braces?

Best practices to observe as caring tips for your braces include the following five steps:

1. Floss and Brush Your Teeth Regularly. – When wearing braces, you should floss carefully and often to protect both teeth and braces. Use dental floss gently near the braces’ arch- wire and floss between teeth with easy sawing movements. First, brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush, moving from top to bottom of each tooth and then from bottom to top. Afterward, brush teeth again using a proxabrush, which is structured specifically for careful cleansing between brace parts.

Brush downward and then upward into the space between brace wires, brackets and bands, cleaning braces and teeth thoroughly. If oral hygiene becomes difficult while wearing braces, using a waterpik or air-flossing device can be helpful for dislodging stubborn food particles stuck between teeth and braces. Many orthodontists recommend bushing with a fluoride toothpaste and rinsing your mouth with a fluoride-based mouthwash.

2. Wear Elastic Bands on Teeth Continuously. – Unless your orthodontist gives you other instructions, try to wear elastic (rubber) bands on your teeth except when brushing. The gentle, but persistent force they exert will assist in realignment of teeth as needed. By wearing these bands faithfully, you may even shorten the time needed for wearing braces to correct bad alignment of teeth. Even if you experience some discomfort while wearing bands, try to keep them in place in your mouth for best results in straightening your teeth.

If, however, you feel pain or notice a grating or popping sensation in your jaw’s joint area, remove the elastic bands and consult your orthodontist. Especially if you have any problems with opening and closing your mouth normally, seek professional advice immediately. You should not be alarmed, however. Often, such problems with jaw joints can be solved by brace adjustments. Also, any discomfort you may encounter during the first few days of wearing these dental appliances will most likely disappear completely. You should change to new elastic bands every 12 hours, at least, so always keep a good supply handy.

3. Contact Your Orthodontist About Broken Brackets and Wires or Loose Brace Bands – If you experience loosening brace bands or broken brackets and wires, consult your dental specialist right away. Although there are very few emergencies associated with wearing orthodontic appliances, broken or loose brace parts can cause injury to your mouth.

What precautions do I need to take with my braces?

Before seeing your orthodontist for these problems, you should take the following precautions:

Loosened Brackets. – Most orthodontists give patients some orthodontic wax when installing dental braces. If any of your braces’ brackets become loose, you can protect your mouth by covering the brackets with a wax cushion. You can also use this wax to reconnect loosened brackets temporarily.

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Loosened Spacers and Bands. – If they should loosen or detach from the braces’ structure, spacers will need replacing or reattaching. Loosened bands will have to be reattached by cementing.

Bent or broken wires. – You can push any bent or broken brace wiring away from your tongue and soft mouth tissues with a pencil eraser to avoid injury. For more protection, you can coat the wire ends with orthodontic wax. If you should develop a mouth abrasion or cut, rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash or with salt water.

4. Protect Your Braces While Playing Sports Games. – If you play contact sports while wearing orthodontic appliances, you should wear a mouthguard for protection from damage to braces and injury to your mouth. If you have an accident involving your mouth and braces, contact your orthodontist for treatment advice.

5. Stop Smoking While Wearing Braces. – Smoking while wearing braces can discolor your teeth unevenly. Once braces are removed, this discoloration will be obvious, and you may find it necessary to schedule bleaching treatments for your darkened teeth.

Wearing modern braces can straighten and realign the teeth of most patients today. For best results, it is helpful to keep your braces clean and in good condition.

Call Us Today To Learn More

At Nalchajian Orthodontics in California, an orthodontist can examine your teeth to determine if you need to wear headgear. You can schedule an appointment with either:

• Dr. Nicole Nalchajian
• Dr. Greg Nalchajian

In addition to fitting headgear on patients, our orthodontic team offers these devices to repair your teeth:

• Traditional braces with metal brackets and wires
• Invisalign aligners made of clear plastic
• Ceramic braces made with color-matching brackets

Contact us today to learn more about Invisalign aligners or headgear at one of these locations:

• Clovis – 559-299-9561
• Fresno – 559-432-7100

We also offer a complimentary consultation after your examination

Nalchajian Orthodontics
7501 N Fresno St, Suite 105, Fresno, CA 93720
Phone: (559) 432 7100

Five Tips in Caring for Your Braces during Orthodontic Treatment

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Nicole Nalchajian About Nicole Nalchajian

Dr Nicole Nalchajian - Nalchajian Orthodontics - Specialist in Orthodontics for kids, teens and adults in Fresno and Clovis California.

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Comments

  1. Brush your teeth extra carefully: Even if you were vigilant about brushing before, now that you have braces you’ll need to brush even more thoroughly.I recommend brushing at least twice a day, but you may find that brushing three times a day is better at removing food particles that have stuck between the braces and your teeth.

  2. Thanks for sharing this advice on taking care of your braces! It is good to know that ceramic braces are a little less flexible than metal braces when it comes to care. My son might be getting ceramic braces, so I’ll make sure he’s not too hard on them if he does get them. However, it all depends on the orthodontist we end up going to!

  3. Silas Knight says:

    These are some great tips for caring for braces. I wasn’t aware that you were even able to floss with braces on, but it makes sense that it is important! When my son gets his braces, I will have to remember all of this.

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