If you’re a braces wearer, make sure you practise a good daily dental routine
Practising an effective daily oral health routine is important when it comes to a maintaining a healthy smile. When you have braces fitted, maintaining that routine becomes even more important. Metal braces tend to trap food particles that can lead to a build-up of bacteria and decay. Extra care should be taken to clean those hard-to-reach spots in and around the brackets and wires, and to ensure all food is removed from the teeth. Insufficient cleaning while wearing braces can lead to decay, cavities, discolouration and staining. Your orthodontist at Victoria Park Dental Specialists, in Adelaide, will advise you of all the tips and tricks for keeping your mouth as healthy and clean as possible while you have braces.
Good eating and drinking habits
- Avoid foods and drinks that cause discolouration and staining. This includes coffee, tea, red wine, sauces and artificially coloured snacks and drinks.
- Don’t smoke – smoking is the biggest culprit for staining.
- Avoid sticky, chewy and hard foods, like gum, lollies, chips, popcorn, nuts, ice etc. that can get stuck in your braces or cause the wires and brackets to break.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks that encourage the build-up of bacteria and decay
- Avoid acidic foods and drinks, like soft drinks, fruit juices, and energy drinks that cause a break-down of enamel
- Cut up foods rather than biting straight into them, to avoid any breakages of wires and brackets
- Drink plenty of water to avoid staining and build-ups of bacteria
- Eat plenty of cut up fruits and vegetables that promote saliva flow, to encourage the break-down of acidic plaque
- Don’t bite your fingernails or chew the ends of pens etc. to avoid breakages
Good oral hygiene routine
- Ensure careful brushing of the teeth after every meal, with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Rinse the mouth thoroughly after each meal, and after drinking sugary drinks, tea and coffee, with water and with mouthwash, if possible.
- Floss between the braces and the teeth, under the wires and between the brackets. Get special super floss – designed specifically to clean in and around the braces. Your orthodontist will show you how to floss your braces to ensure you’re practising the most effective technique.
- Examine your mouth in the mirror after meals to ensure the teeth are clean.
- Ensure you maintain regular, 6-monthly dental cleans
Practise this good brushing technique to ensure adequate cleaning of each and every tooth
- Ensure you clean each and every tooth individually
- Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to the point at which the tooth meets the gum line
- Apply gentle pressure as you move the brush back and forth in a circular motion
- Brush each tooth for about 10 seconds
- Don’t forget to brush the tongue to remove bacteria build-ups and to freshen the breath
- Use the same brushing action on all outer and inner tooth surfaces, tilting the brush as needed to better reach the insides of the front teeth.
Regular visits to your orthodontist in Adelaide
To ensure the treatment is progressing as it should ensure you attend regular orthodontic visits. Your orthodontist will check all the wires and brackets to ensure they are functioning as they should. You can also expect adjustments of the wires and elastics – these adjustments ensure the teeth are adjusting as they should. If these appointments are missed, it can lengthen the necessary treatment time, so it’s important that you attend all of your scheduled visits.