At North Coast Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. If you’re currently undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces, taking proper care of them is crucial for ensuring the best results. Proper maintenance not only keeps your braces in good condition but also promotes overall oral health. In this blog, we’ll share top tips for maintaining your braces, including cleaning advice and dietary recommendations.

Cleaning Tips for Braces

Brush After Every Meal

While wearing braces, food particles and plaque can easily get trapped in the brackets and wires. To prevent cavities and gum disease, it’s essential to brush your teeth after every meal. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth and braces.

Use an Interdental Brush

An interdental brush, also known as a proxy brush, is a small brush designed to clean between your teeth and around your braces. It’s particularly effective at reaching areas that a regular toothbrush might miss, such as under the wires and between the brackets.

Floss Daily

Flossing can be challenging with braces, but it’s critical for removing food particles and plaque between your teeth. Use a floss threader or orthodontic floss to guide the floss under the wires and between your teeth. Be gentle to avoid damaging your braces or irritating your gums.

Rinse with Mouthwash

Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash helps to kill bacteria and reduce plaque buildup. Use a fluoride mouthwash once a day to strengthen your teeth and protect against decay. Swish it around your mouth for about one minute, ensuring it reaches all areas, including around your braces.

Schedule Regular Dental Cleanings

Regular dental cleanings are essential for maintaining oral health, especially while wearing braces. Visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and check-up. Your dentist will remove any hardened plaque (tartar) and ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Dietary Recommendations

1. Avoid Hard & Sticky Foods

Certain foods can damage your braces by breaking brackets, bending wires, or getting stuck in hard-to-reach areas. Avoid hard foods like nuts, popcorn, and ice, as well as sticky foods like caramel, chewing gum, and gummy candies.

2. Cut Food into Smaller Pieces

Cutting your food into smaller, bite-sized pieces makes it easier to chew and reduces the risk of damaging your braces. This is particularly important for foods like apples, carrots, and corn on the cob. Instead of biting directly into these foods, slice them into manageable portions.

3. Limit Sugary Foods & Drinks

Sugary foods and drinks can increase the risk of cavities and tooth decay, especially when wearing braces. Try to limit your consumption of sweets, sodas, and fruit juices. If you do indulge in sugary treats, make sure to brush your teeth immediately afterward.

4. Opt for Braces-Friendly Snacks

Choose snacks that are gentle on your braces and easy to chew. Some braces-friendly options include yogurt, soft fruits (like bananas and berries), cheese, smoothies, and scrambled eggs. These foods are not only safe for your braces but also provide essential nutrients for maintaining oral health.

General Care Tips

1. Wear a Mouthguard During Sports

If you participate in contact sports, wearing a mouthguard is essential for protecting your braces and teeth from injury. Ask your orthodontist about custom-fit mouthguards designed specifically for braces.

2. Address Issues Promptly

If you experience any issues with your braces, such as loose brackets, broken wires, or discomfort, contact North Coast Orthodontics immediately. Addressing problems promptly can prevent further complications and ensure your treatment stays on track.

3. Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions

Your orthodontist will provide specific instructions tailored to your treatment plan. Follow these guidelines closely, including wearing elastics (rubber bands) as directed and attending all scheduled appointments. Adhering to your orthodontist’s recommendations is key to achieving the best results.

Why Choose North Coast Orthodontics?

At North Coast Orthodontics, we are committed to providing exceptional care and support throughout your orthodontic journey. Our experienced team, led by Dr. Brian Schabel and Dr. Vivian Chan, uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver personalized treatment plans designed to meet your unique needs.

In conclusion, maintaining your braces requires diligence and dedication to ensure a successful outcome. By following these top tips for cleaning, dietary choices, and general care, you can keep your braces in excellent condition and enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile. If you have any questions or need assistance with your braces, don’t hesitate to reach out to North Coast Orthodontics.