Braces use bands, wires, brackets, and careful application of pressure in order to align the teeth. The dental therapy with braces will take months.
One reason that metal braces could prove quite problematic for some patients is that they present several challenges with regards to dental hygiene and proper maintenance. The bands, wires, and bracket make typical flossing and brushing difficult, and these orthodontic device could also make it tougher (or a bad idea) to eat particular types of foods and drinks.
When there’s a need for you to wear braces, keep in mind the following basics:
Foods & Drinks to Avoid
When you’re using braces, there are certain foods that will be hard to eat or that could damage teeth if you are not careful. But it isn’t just hard foods; acidic foods could damage the structure of teeth, as well as the braces.
Here are the certain foods to avoid: hard candies, chewing gum, nuts, taffy, peanut butter, caramel, and popcorn.
The following are certain foods and beverages that must be consumed with caution (patients should brush and floss right after consuming them): soy sauce, apples, salsa, soft drinks, tomatoes, peaches, citrus fruits, and pickles.
Brushing & Flossing with Braces
Whether you’re using traditional braces or fast-acting braces for adults, brushing and flossing become more difficult and crucial, as food particles could be caught in the wires and brackets, resulting to tooth decay.
Patients are advised to use a toothbrush with a small head. Such type of toothbrush will allow them to clean the braces’ frontal area, underside, and topside along the gumline. The corners of the mouth and the cups of the teeth must be cleaned as well. Brushing should be performed at least three times in a day, preferably after each meal.
Flossing will be quite a hassle because floss threaders will have to properly access the spaces in between teeth. Floss threaders are purchased at drug stores and in some grocery stores. Such threaders will help loop the floss under the wires of braces to enable a patient to floss like normal.
Other Concerns for Proper Care for Metal Braces
When wearing braces, periodic follow-up care with the orthodontist is necessary, to make necessary adjustments to the wires or bands, check on the improvement of the teeth alignment, or to fix any problems you may be experiencing. If you notice problems with the brackets or wires, make sure you let your orthodontics know.