Your teeth are at a vulnerable stage when first fitted for braces so you have to be careful to care for your new oral investment. To avoid problems for your braces encased teeth, remember that this is a sensitive time for your teeth. If you heed sound dental advice, your experience with braces will yield a lifetime of happiness—not to mention a considerable boost to your self-esteem.
Cavity Prevention Tips
Whether you’re young and new to the world of metal and wires or you’re an adult finally longing for straighter teeth, you should know how to care for your teeth and mouth to avoid cavities and the extra cost of treating them when you have braces. Taking care of your teeth and gums becomes extra important when you wear braces, and caring for them means taking the time to brush your teeth and floss regularly.
You'll want to be gentle when you brush or floss to avoid damaging the wires and brackets. Maintaining good oral hygiene under normal conditions may require brushing twice a day. However, when braces are being used, it is usually recommended that brushing be carried out at least five times a day, with each brushing session lasting at least five minutes.
Here are some tips on staying cavity-free with braces:
- Use a good brush to get behind the wires. A regular toothbrush may not be able to do this. Also, consider an electric brush such as Water-Pik whose high-pressure stream of water can dislodge pesky food particles from their hiding places.
- Brush vigorously after every meal because the braces impede the saliva flow that can usually dislodge bits of food between teeth. The sooner the food is out- the less chance of cavities.
- Rinse thoroughly- preferably with a fluoride mouthwash. The fluoride will give you added protection from the decay which causes cavities as it flushes away stubborn food particles.
- See your Forest &Ray dentist more regularly if cavity-prone. Consider doing so every three months.
Protecting Your Braces
If you or your child plays a sport, good news: you can keep it up with braces. But have he or she wear a mouthguard to avoid damage to the braces or teeth during a game or practice. Dental experts recommend wearing a mouth guard on both your top and bottom teeth when you have braces. For the best fit, invest in one that's custom made by your dentist.
Foods To Avoid
It is very important to know what you shouldn’t eat.
What foods are no-nos
- Hard nuts, candies, hard fruits (like apples and pears)
- Hard vegetables (like carrots and corn on the cob)
- Taco shells
- Pizza crust
- Tough meats
- Sticky stuff like taffy, gum, caramels
Also, keep in mind that whilst it is important to stay hydrated, not every liquid should be ingested. Drink lots of water throughout the day, avoiding pop and sugary drinks as your teeth are even more susceptible to cavities when you have braces. And, by all means, consult the dental professionals at Forest & Ray who can give you meal menu ideas and other useful information.