Caring for your Braces

Congratulations and welcome to the Smile Doctors family! Now that you have your braces, it is essential for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic journey.

Eating with Braces

For the first day or so your teeth will be adjusting to your new braces, so try to stick to soft foods – no tough meats, hard breads or raw vegetables. Try to get in the habit of cutting your food into tiny pieces, and you will find that with braces, eating is easy.

Not to worry, you’ll soon be munching on popcorn and snacking on your favorite potato chips again! But, before that, you will need to take extra care to stay away from any foods that could damage or break your new appliances.

Hard Foods to Avoid

Hard Foods to Avoid

Try to avoid “hard” foods that can cause your brackets to break: Corn Nuts, chewing ice, hard bread, hard pretzels, uncut apples, uncut carrots, uncut celery, frozen candy bars, nuts, hard candies, beef jerky, crunchy chips and hard tacos. 

Sticky Foods to Avoid

Sticky Foods to Avoid

Try to avoid “sticky” foods that may get caught in your braces, or cause them to break: Caramels, Starburst, Sugar Daddies, taffy, gummy bears, sticky candies, meat on the bone, beef jerky, corn on the cob, bubble gum and Tootsie rolls. 

Habits to Avoid

Habits to Avoid

Avoid biting your nails, chewing or biting pencils or other objects and picking at your wires. 

Braces make your teeth straight, but they don’t make your teeth clean – that’s your job.

Good oral hygiene with braces is very important because food and bacteria can get trapped between the brackets and the wires, causing decay and enamel stains.

Here’s how it happens: food and bacteria react with the wires from your braces causing a bleaching effect which leaves small, permanent stains on the teeth. This is completely preventable with proper oral care.

Four Easy Steps for Brushing your Teeth

Step 01

Step 01

Gently brush the outer surfaces of your teeth and braces with a circular motion – the key word here is gently. Guide the brush head from tooth to tooth, following the natural curve of your teeth and gums. 

Step 02

Step 02

Tilt your toothbrush 45 degrees to clean the top and bottom of the brackets. Make sure the brush also cleans under the wires. Again, a gentle brushing motion is key. 

Step 03

Step 03

Move on to brushing the tops and insides of your teeth. Don't forget to brush all the way in the back of the mouth, behind the molars. You can also brush your tongue while your back there.  

Step 04

Step 04

Use a different, fresh brush to clean between your brackets. Remember to replace your toothbrush or brush head every three months for the most efficient cleaning. 

 

Last, but not least

Regular Dental Checkups

Because your teeth can gather more food and bacteria with braces, it is extremely important to get regular dental checkups to prevent any decay or spotting. Good oral hygiene at home and regular dental visits are an essential combination.

Care of Appliances

Your doctor will give you specific information on how to care for your type of retainer. Just remember: all orthodontic gear is fragile, so handle with care! Make sure to clean it regularly, and be careful not to sit on, step on or otherwise damage your expensive gear.

Athletics + Instruments

If you play sports, especially contact sports, it is important to consult us for special precautions. The same goes for playing musical instruments that put stress on the mouth and lips such as the trumpet or trombone.

 

 

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