Flossing & Brushing With Braces & Foods To Avoid With Braces
Over 2000 Smiles Transformed At RS Orthodontics — Serving Inwood, Martinsburg, Charles Town, Kearneysville, Harpers Ferry, Falling Waters, Berkeley Springs, WV, Williamsports, MD, Berryville & Purceville, VA
At RS Orthodontics, we want to help you enjoy your journey to a healthier and happier smile. Here are some things to expect while you’re in braces, as well as steps you can take to ensure that your time in braces goes more smoothly.
Brushing & Flossing With Braces
Brushing and flossing regularly is important for everyone, regardless of whether they’re in braces or not. However, when you have braces, a careful oral hygiene regimen becomes even more important. Food particles can get caught in the brackets sometimes, and if these aren’t cleaned away, they can lead to a variety of problems, including bad breath, tooth stains, tooth decay, or gum disease. To keep this from happening, you should brush your teeth after meals and floss once a day.
As for flossing, this can be a bit tricky with braces, but you will get the hang of it in no time. When you’re wearing braces, the archwire that runs across your teeth will block the floss from getting all the way down to your gum. Because of this, you will need to thread the floss underneath the archwire first, and then you’ll be able to floss between your teeth. During your appointment with us, we can show you how to floss with braces. We’ll also discuss ways to make the process easier, such as by using floss threader or stiffer floss.
Food & Drinks To Avoid With Braces
While you are wearing braces, you will need to avoid certain foods and drinks that could cause damage to the brackets or wires. If you have to give up a food that you normally love to eat, just remind yourself that a beautiful, healthy smile will be your reward!
Some drinks and foods to avoid with braces include:
- Ice – Don’t worry, you can still put ice in drinks to keep them cold, but make sure you don’t chew on it! Chewing on ice cubes will destroy your braces.
- Sticky foods & candy – Anything with a sticky, gummy texture can bend the wires in your braces or even pull a bracket off a tooth. Examples of sticky foods to avoid include taffy, caramel, Tootsie Rolls, Gummy Bears, and Now and Laters.
- Hard foods & candy – Hard foods can damage your braces much like chewing ice can. They can cause a variety of problems including bent wires, broken brackets, and brackets knocked off teeth. Examples of hard foods to avoid include apples, pizza crust, hard pretzels, potato chips, Jolly Ranchers, nuts, and carrots.
- Foods & drinks high in sugar – Unrefined sugar in particular can cause significant tooth decay when caught in your braces, so you should avoid it as much as possible. If you do eat or drink something high in sugar, be sure to brush your teeth immediately afterward – or at least rinse your mouth thoroughly with clear water.
Broken Or Loose Appliances
Sometimes, even if you are being careful, you may experience a broken or loose appliance on your braces. Don’t worry if this happens – it can be fixed – but do contact us quickly so that we can get you back on track with your treatment. Be sure to save any loose pieces and bring them with you when you come to see us.
If a tie wire is protruding and causing discomfort, you can use a blunt tool (e.g., the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser) to gently push the wire back. Then give us a call to determine whether we should see you or not.