Best Care for Braces

Best Care for Braces
Posted on 04/29/2019

Getting braces is an exciting step in your journey towards a new, healthier, more beautiful smile. But wearing braces will come with some lifestyle changes, whether it’s the food you eat, stepping up your oral hygiene, or carrying a mouthguard with you. Our mission is to help patients throughout the Atlanta area navigate every part of the orthodontic treatment process and achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. The orthodontists and staff at Elite Smiles Chastain have put together some tips to care for your new braces. We want you to enjoy your orthodontic treatment to the fullest without having any issues with your braces.

 

Maintain Your Oral Hygiene Routine

 

No matter what type of braces you choose, once you begin treatment, it will be very important to brush and floss to keep your mouth and teeth clean and free from the bacteria. Following these steps will help you prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Step 1: Brush Twice a Day

 

Good oral hygiene is the number one way to prevent tooth decay. Brushing twice a day is the foundation of that. Brushing after every meal is preferable, but you want to make sure to brush at least twice with one of these times being right before bed. Also, make sure to brush with a toothpaste containing fluoride.

 

Step 2: Floss Once A Day

 

Flossing with traditional dental floss isn’t possible because of the wire that runs across your teeth. For braces wearers, it’s helpful to use small interdental brushes or special floss holders and threaders. You can also use an oral irrigation device that shoots out water to clean between your teeth and remove food particles from between your braces No matter which process you choose, it may seem more time consuming, but you will have healthier and less inflamed gums by remembering to floss.

Step 3: Use Mouthwash

 

If you want to reduce bacteria in your mouth and on your orthodontic appliances, using mouthwash is a good idea. You can choose an over-the-counter or prescription mouthwash, but it may be best to ask your Elite Smiles Chastain orthodontist for an opinion on which will be best for you.

Be Mindful of What Foods You Can Eat With Braces

 

If you’re wearing braces, you’ll have to spend some extra time monitoring your diet and staying away from any foods that could be harmful to your braces. In general, there are three categories of food you'll need to avoid while you're wearing braces: hard, sticky, and sugary foods. Each one of these damages your teeth and braces for a different reason. Here’s a quick list of foods that you’ll want to avoid during your braces treatment.

Hard Foods

 

The first type of food that you should watch out for is hard food. Hard foods can easily break off brackets or break wires, Some examples of hard foods include:

  • Nuts
  • Hard taco shells
  • Bagels
  • Chips
  • Pizza crust
  • French bread crust
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Jolly Ranchers

Sticky Foods

 

We also suggest avoiding sticky foods. Sticky foods can get stuck between brackets and under your archwire, making them very challenging to remove and potentially damaging your braces. You should avoid the following sticky foods:

  • Gum
  • Caramel
  • Starburst
  • Licorice
  • Toffee
  • Tootsie Rolls

Sugary Foods

 

Unlike the previous two categories of foods, you actually don’t need to avoid these foods – just eat them in moderation. Sugary foods cause damage when naturally-occurring bacteria in your mouth interact with the sugars and carbohydrates in the foods, breaking them down into harsh acids that attack your enamel and cause tooth decay. Whether you’re wearing braces or not, sugary foods aren’t good for your teeth, which is why you’ll want to limit the amount you eat. Sugary foods include:

  • Cookies
  • Cake
  • Ice cream
  • Candy
  • Pie
  • Soda
  • Sweet tea
  • Kool-Aid
  • Gatorade

Especially at the beginning of treatment, you'll want to avoid these foods. Instead, head for soft, non-sticky foods without too high of a sugar content. Things like soft tortillas, yogurt, well-steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, and pulled pork are all perfect meals for both your body and your braces!

 

Always Carry a Mouthguard with You

 

If you’re active either in organized sports or your own, individual activities, be sure to always have a protective mouthguard with you. Whether you’ll be hitting the local skateboard park, or playing soccer in the summer league, we want you to protect your braces as much as possible! Carrying your mouthguard with you in a case means you can just pop it in and have all the fun you want without any worries about harming your teeth or braces.

 

Make Regular Appointments With Elite Smiles Chastain

One of the most important things you can do to keep your braces or Invisalign treatment on track is to make your regularly scheduled appointments with our Elite Smiles Chastain orthodontists. Our experienced, friendly team will welcome you to our Atlanta office and your orthodontist will be able to check your progress, make any adjustments to your treatment plan, and make sure your teeth and mouth are healthy. If you have any questions about braces or any of our other orthodontic treatments, please feel free to contact us at 404.303.7400 or make an appointment at your convenience. We hope to see you soon!

Elite Smiles Chastain

91 W. Wieuca Rd., Suite 300 • Atlanta, GA 30342Orthodontics: 404.303.7400 • Pediatric Dentistry: 404.252.5900

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