In the United States there are more than 4 million people with braces, and out of those people a million are adults. Dr. Kami Hoss explains how braces are an excellent tool to help align crooked teeth in both children and grownups, but they also require a good deal of care and cleaning to make sure no complications arise from having them. Learn how to take the best care of your braces on your journey to achieving your best smile by following these tips on hygiene, cleaning, and eating with braces.
- Brush, brush, brush!
- While it’s a no brainer that everyone should be brushing their teeth twice a day, it’s extra important to remember to brush regularly when you have braces. With the brackets and wires on your teeth, there are plenty of places where food can get lodged, so you need to regularly brush to keep these particles from getting stuck. You should also be using the interdental brush to clean in between the brackets and wires of your braces.
- Floss your teeth AND your braces.
- When you visit the dentist and they ask you how often you floss, most of us are prone to fibbing because, to be honest, most people don’t floss nearly as often as they should. Dentists recommend flossing at least once a day, and it’s incredibly important that people with braces make flossing into a habit. If you find that regular floss isn’t doing the trick, you can ask your dentist about getting super floss or look into getting a water pik.
- Don’t forget to use mouthwash
- After the brushing, interdental brushing, and flossing, you might think that using mouthwash is superfluous, but it’s actually a great final defense against cavities and tooth decay when you have braces. Floss and toothbrushes will cover a majority of your mouth, but there will always be places where it’s going to be impossible to reach. Mouthwash allows you to tackle those tough areas and as a bonus leaves your breath smelling fresh for hours.
- Avoid the foods you’re supposed to avoid.
- When you have braces, you’re specifically told to avoid specific foods that will help you take proper care of your teeth. It’s important that you avoid sticky foods like caramel, sticky hard candy, gum, and taffy that can get stuck in your braces; it’s also important that you avoid hard foods like pretzels, nuts, and whole, raw fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, and carrots that can cause a bracket to pop off your teeth and set back your orthodontic progress.
To check out more of dental hygiene advice, please check out Dr. Kami Hoss blogs.