Millions of people at any given time are wearing braces on their teeth. Braces are an effective treatment that is used by people of all ages. For the duration of your treatment, you will need to do some things to keep your braces in tip top shape. Doing these things may seem like a bit of an inconvenience, but in reality, they may save you a lot of time, headache, discomfort, and even money in the end!
The type of braces you have will play a key role in determining what you need to do to take care of them and keep them from getting broken. That’s because Invisalign® braces, for example, will be taken care of differently than you would take care of metal braces. But regardless of what kind of brace you have, there are things you should be doing and keeping in mind in order to take care of them properly.
Here are some tips for taking care of Invisalign braces:
- Because Invisalign braces can be removed, you can simply remove the clear trays each time you eat or drink or need to brush and floss your teeth. Just be sure that when you take the trays out that you don’t lose them! To keep your Invisalign braces clean, brush them gently with warm water and liquid hand soap. Toothpaste can be abrasive and may scratch the trays.
If you have metal braces, here are some tips for taking care of those and avoiding broken braces:
- Watch the foods that you eat. Try to avoid anything sticky or hard (e.g., gummy bears, taffy, caramel, jelly beans, Starburst, Jolly Ranchers). Also, there are many foods that you need to make sure are cut up into small bite-size pieces and chewed with your back teeth. These foods include things like apples, meat, corn on the cob, and carrots.
- Consider using an electric toothbrush, which will help you be more effective at brushing around the braces. •When it comes to flossing each day, you will need to use a threader in order to get around the braces more easily. You can find these at most stores, or ask your orthodontist what kind they recommend. Another option for cleaning around your braces is to use a Waterpik, which are effective at getting in between the braces, as well as the teeth.
- If your braces do happen to break, immediately contact your orthodontist to see what is recommended. Depending on the break, they may have you wait to address it at your next appointment, or they may bring you in right away.
- Avoid putting things in your mouth that don’t belong there, such as pens, pencils, paper clips, and a variety of other things that people like to chew on out of boredom or nervousness.
- Be sure to visit the orthodontist regularly, so your braces can be kept in the best condition and any problems can be addressed right away. It is important to do your best to keep your teeth free of plaque. When plaque builds up around the braces, it can decalcify the tooth enamel or cause erosion. When the plague leads to decalcification, it creates white marks that are usually permanent.
Taking care of your braces requires you to adopt some new habits. Soon these healthy habits will become second nature and you will have no problem keeping your braces in their best condition! And don’t worry, you won’t have to avoid certain favorite foods forever, only during the treatment period that you need to skip eating them. Certain foods can break or bend brackets and wires, or even loosen bands. In order for you to reach the beautiful smile that you want, you need to do your best to take care of your braces and your teeth. The extra work will be well worth it in the end!