Patients who wear fixed orthodontic appliances are at a greater risk for developing caries and tooth decay. To minimize the risks of such conditions, extra care in cleaning your teeth and appliance needs to be exercised. Here are the top five tips for maintaining your orthodontic braces as well as the overall health of your teeth!
You will need to brush your teeth more often, preferably after every meal. If you snack all day, then the best thing to do is to brush every 2-3 hours. Food particles can get caught in your braces and quickly form bacterial colonies, so more frequent sanitation is required to keep caries from forming on the enamel. When you brush do not be too rigorous, ease up, or you may scrape some of your enamel away as well. If your braces come with especially hard to reach places, you can buy a special orthodontic toothbrush as well.
Because of the fact that there will be more places for detritus to settle, an increase in the use of dental floss should also be a part of your daily routine. You may wish to get floss that is especially strong, as dental floss can break on appliances, given their sharp edges and little nooks and crannies.
If you have fixed braces, make sure you show up to each activation as prescribed. You may find that you can only make it a week later, and that’s fine, just be aware that that is how much longer the treatment is going to take. Keeping up with appointments not only allows treatment to progress as scheduled, but also allows the dentist to stay on top of any related problems and treat them before they become severe.
If any damage or unexpected shifting or removal of the braces happens, you need to contact your dentist immediately. If you have suffered some type of injury or trauma to the teeth, than there is a pretty good chance that your braces have moved or shifted or have been completely removed from the place where they need to be. But brackets can come loose on seemingly their own accord, for no apparent reason whatsoever. Broken or damaged brackets can harm the enamel of teeth, making all the hard daily cleaning work you’ve been doing rather pointless.
The prohibitions towards smoking and eating certain foods should definitely also be obeyed. The food guidelines are not a suggestion. Nuts can damage your teeth and your orthodontic braces as well, and toffee can pull brackets off of your teeth. Sugary foods, if they get stuck in a nook between your braces and your teeth, can cause the erosion of your enamel in a matter of days. So take the advice of your dentist seriously, and make the most of your time in braces!