Congratulations! By opting for braces, you’re on your way to a picture-perfect smile. Let’s touch on a few important practices that will make that journey pleasant and effective.
- Talk freely to your orthodontist. He or she is fully dedicated to one thing: making patients like you happy and healthy. Never feel reluctant or embarrassed to ask questions or voice concerns about your treatment.
- Continue to visit your dentist – at least twice a year – for check-ups and cleaning.
- Brush often and thoroughly. Braces trap food. Besides being unsightly, stuck food particles are a banquet for bacteria. These bacteria release compounds that cause tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. Accordingly, you should brush a minimum of three times a day, for a least two or three minutes each time.Orthodontists overwhelmingly recommend a soft-bristled brush. They get into those little crevices better than stiffer bristles. What brand and style you use is up to you. Just be certain it’s approved by the American Dental Association. (The same goes for your toothpaste. Use a fluoride toothpaste that has ADA approval.)
- Floss every day. Admittedly, flossing while wearing braces is a bit more troublesome, but it’s super-important to keep your mouth as free as possible from harmful bacteria. Luckily, there are flossing products and techniques designed especially for people with braces. Ask your orthodontists about how to use them most effectively.
- Watch what you eat. You’ve always been told that sugary foods can cause tooth decay, and that’s even more of a concern when you wear braces, as there are more places for food to get stuck. You also need to be keenly aware of foods that may damage your braces, so steer clear of hard and sticky foods.
Remember, everyone’s experience with braces is a little bit different. That’s why the most important item presented here is to talk freely with your orthodontist. Following his or her advice is the best way to minimize your treatment time and enjoy the greatest benefits.