Here at FDA, we are always working to help our patients have a happy and healthy smile! For many of our patients – both kids and adults – that involves braces. Braces can align your bite, improve your ability to chew food, and even correct speech impediments. Having braces also requires an extra layer of oral hygiene care and consideration. Here are three tips to help you care for your teeth while you get those pearly whites aligned!
Up Your Brushing Game
A reminder to brush regularly should come as no surprise. However, for folks with braces, your brushing game is even more important! Food and bacteria love hiding in little nooks and crannies, and teeth with braces have oodles of extra hiding spots. We recommend that you brush your teeth after every meal (or three times a day) to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and discoloration. Your brush bristles will likely wear out more quickly with braces, so remember to replace your toothbrush regularly. We always love to see our patients use electric toothbrushes – they truly provide a superior cleaning – and this is especially true for our patients with braces. Need to brush up on your brushing technique? Ask your wonderful hygienist for a demonstration at your next appointment!
Make Smart Food Choices
Certain types of food can present additional challenges when you have braces. Foods that are high in starch and sugar can get stuck in your braces and lead to extra plaque build up, which can contribute to cavities and gum disease. Foods and beverages that are highly acidic can erode your enamel and are best to avoid. It’s also wise to avoid sticky, gummy, or hard candy treats that could cause a bracket to pull off, or wires to bend. Stick to healthy choices that support your oral health in multiple ways – foods high in calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C will support your enamel, teeth and gums! Want some more tips? Ask for suggestions at your next appointment!
Floss & Rinse for the Win!
Flossing with braces can be a real challenge, but it is a crucial step for removing plaque from between the teeth where the brush can’t reach. Support your flossing with the right tools! For example, floss threaders can be found at most drug stores and will help you get your floss in between your teeth and braces. Also, water flossers are a great alternative to traditional floss and are especially helpful for people with braces.
After you brush and floss your teeth, give them a good rinse with water. Swishing water around your mouth will help loosen any food left behind. Take rinsing to the next level with a gentle mouthwash. We recommend Oxyfresh – a natural mouthwash that is alcohol and dye-free. Feel free to inquire about our selection of flavors at your next appointment!
Of course, coming in for regular appointments with Dr. Brunacini, Dr. Karagiorgos, and our team of caring hygienists is one of the best things you can do for your oral health! If you have questions or need to schedule your next appointment, give us a call at 207.781.5900. We are here for you!