Braces can help realign your crooked teeth and readjust your bite, but if you do not take good care of your braces, they may cause more oral health problems. Wearing metal braces comes with responsibility and require proactive maintenance and care to prevent tooth decay, discoloration, or damage to your teeth and gums.
Silver Spring, MD orthodontist Dr. David Rever offers some tips and tricks for caring for your metal braces that can help improve your results and will protect your oral health during orthodontic treatment.
A Guide To Maintaining Braces
- Brushing with braces: With our without braces, patients should brush twice a day with the toothbrush at a straight angle, using circular motions to remove food particles and plaque. When wearing braces, brushing more frequently is recommended to keep food from lodging between the brackets and teeth- which could lead to an increased risk of tooth decay.
- Flossing with braces: Dr. Rever recommends that patients wearing braces use dental floss to remove food and plaque build up. Floss can be pulled under the arch wire for effective daily flossing using a floss threader.
- Fluoride treatments: For patients more prone to tooth decay, Dr. Rever may recommend a fluoride treatment to improve your resistance to decay. Fluoride treatments are noninvasive and can be completed during your routine dental health exam or braces checkup.
- Avoid Sticky, Chewy, Sugary Foods: With metal, braces comes dietary restrictions. It is highly recommended that patients wearing metal braces avoid chewing gum, gummy candies, nuts, popcorn, hard candies or anything sticky or high in sugar. These foods and treats can damage or break braces resulting in the need for expensive repairs. These foods are also prone to becoming lodged in the brackets making it difficult to clean your teeth and braces.
Braces help correct malocclusion and shift teeth into a proper, healthy alignment. Braces can leave patients with beautiful, happy, confident smiles. Taking good care of your braces while you wear them reduces the risk of decay or tooth discoloration. Be sure to clean your teeth, brush your braces, and avoid potentially dangerous foods.