Instructions for Braces Hygiene and Diet

In Braces Hygiene September 7, 2017

While deciding to get braces to realign your teeth is a great way to improve the aesthetics of your smile, it’s important to remember proper care and maintenance to ensure other oral deficiencies or complications don’t occur during treatment. Two factors that lead to complications for a person with braces are neglecting oral care routines, and frequently eating sugary, sticky, or hard foods. By taking control of these factors, you greatly improve your chances for a healthier and decay-free smile while undergoing braces treatment.  

Adjust Your Typical Oral Care Routine at Home and at the Dentist

Getting braces is a great way to enhance the look of your smile, but there are many factors to consider once they are on your teeth, since treatment may take a few years. Even those who practiced thorough brushing, rinsing, and flossing prior to wearing braces must make some adjustments to ensure proper care for the teeth and gums. If not done thoroughly, food can easily get trapped, leading to plaque buildup and decay. By brushing and rinsing after meal times, you quickly eliminate the chance for plaque to build up from food particles stuck in the braces.

The importance of having a professional cleaning every six months increases for braces wearers. These appointments, in addition to seeing the orthodontist at least once a month, help maintain the health of the smile. Despite even the best efforts, food can get trapped behind the wires and around the brackets, and it’s not easily brushed or rinsed away as for those without braces. 

Managing the Right Diet

The type of foods you eat while wearing braces impact your overall health and appearance of your teeth. Because correcting your alignment may take some time, it can lead to necessary adjustments to your diet for proper function. Dentists recommend everyone avoid or limit sticky and sugary foods, but this is especially true for those who wear braces. Decay-causing foods are more likely to get stuck around the brackets and wires, making even thorough brushing, flossing, and rinsing difficult to eliminate it all. 

When it comes to the right foods to make a part of your braces diet while wearing braces, softer foods are the better alternative. One attempt to bite into something too hard or sticky can potentially break the wires or even pull the bracket off the tooth surface, causing a need for immediate maintenance, while also setting back your treatment time. Specific types of food to avoid are tough meats, raw vegetables, nuts, and especially sticky candy and gum. Additionally, those who have the habit of chewing on inedible objects, such as pens, will need to be mindful of this to avoid breakage.

Contact Us in San Jose Today!

At Care Orthodontics, Dr. Nancy D Phan is a board-certified orthodontist providing modern orthodontic care to straighten smiles for both children and adults. We serve San Jose, Milpitas, and Morgan Hill for over ten years. If you are wanting a straighter smile and would like to know the best methods for maintaining your oral health while wearing braces, give our office a call to set up a consultation.