Orthodontics, or “braces,” have been used for decades to straighten the teeth of young people around the world. In more recent years, adults have been getting in on the action, regretting the fact that they didn’t get braces when they were young but determined to spend the rest of their days with a beautiful, straight smile.
There are a few things you should know about properly caring for your braces to make sure your teeth stay healthy during the orthodontics process. The basics are obvious – brushing is essential. It is absolutely imperative that you prevent gum disease and cavities by removing all food particles and plaque while you have braces on your teeth.
Experts recommend having your teeth professionally cleaned in the office every three months. It’s unlikely you will be able to keep your teeth as clean as they need to be with the brackets and wires running through your mouth. While there, the dental hygienist will check for any loose or broken wires or brackets.
Your orthodontist will instruct you on the best methods for proper cleaning. You will need to clean your mouth after every meal. Leaving food lodged in your braces can easily cause infections, discoloration, and cavities. Do not allow bacteria and plaque to build up on your teeth or gums.
Here are some quick tips:
- Use a “soft” brush, even if you have always used hard or medium before.
- Brush after every meal – 4 to 5 times a day.
- Brush across and between the wires and gums.
- Brush for at least two minutes, if not longer.
Double check in the mirror to see if any food was left stuck in your braces.
Experts suggest you brush firmly with a soft brush, holding the brush under hot water for a few seconds first to make it even softer. You will get the best results from your braces and also have sparkling white teeth if you follow the proper procedures. Keep your mouth clean so that it will be healthy before, during, and after the orthodontics.