Braces play a great role in correcting misaligned and overcrowded teeth. This is crucial because an abnormal bite can cause dental problems like impaired plaque removal, which could then lead to cavities and gum inflammation.
However, once you start wearing braces, taking care of your teeth will involve a few more extra steps on top of your usual dental hygiene maintenance routine.
Caring for your dental braces requires constant commitment. Because of the tiny spaces found between the brackets, food can easily get trapped, causing plaque and other dental problems. Throughout the duration of your treatment period using braces, it’s important to be fully aware of the basics of orthodontic care that you must observe to keep your teeth healthy.
Let these tips from a professional dentist in Dubai serve as your guide in keeping your oral health in check while wearing dental braces.
1. Refine your brushing technique
Whether or not you’re wearing braces, brushing your teeth is important. But it becomes more crucial while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Pieces of food and plaque easily get trapped in the brackets, which can cause problems. To access these hard-to-reach areas during brushing, use a toothbrush with a soft head.
Follow these steps when brushing your teeth:
- Take off any elastics and other removable parts of your dental braces.
- Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle then clean around the pins and wires of your braces.
- Start by brushing the top of each wire then down to the bottom. Take your time in removing all debris and plaque, and work your way through the upper and lower teeth.
- Brush your teeth starting at the gum line for about 10 seconds. Make sure to apply only slight pressure as you move your toothbrush in a circular motion.
- Use the same brushing motion on all inner and outer tooth surfaces, tilting your toothbrush as needed to reach difficult areas.
- Rinse thoroughly. Check your teeth as well as your braces in the mirror to ensure that no food debris has been left behind.
Generally, people only need to brush their teeth twice a day. However, if you’re wearing braces, it’s recommended that you brush after every meal. Keep your toothbrush and toothpaste handy in your bag to make sure your teeth and braces are always clean.
2. Floss at least once a day
Flossing when wearing braces can be quite a feat, but it’s an important step in oral hygiene that you shouldn’t ignore. Flossing helps in removing plaque build-up as well as small food particles that get stuck in your braces or in between your teeth.
If you find it difficult to use a flossing tape, try a floss threader or an interdental brush instead. These work well in maneuvering around your brackets. Just remember to be gentle when flossing as you might damage your braces, causing another trip back to the orthodontist.
3. Avoid particular foods
Several foods are off-limits when wearing braces. Usually, anything chewy, crunchy, sticky, or hard will be on the list. Moreover, if you have a habit of nibbling on your nails, you’ll need to curb that practice quickly as it can break or bend your braces.
You also need to avoid sugary foods and drinks as these may cause tooth decay and staining around your brackets. These stains may become permanent and will be quite visible after the removal of your braces.
4. Visit your orthodontist regularly
While you are wearing braces, you will have to visit your orthodontist for regular adjustments. After every routine orthodontic adjustment, you will experience some tightness and even slight pain. If the discomfort you feel doesn’t disappear quickly or becomes extreme, consult your orthodontist. You should also bring any concerns or problems with your braces to your orthodontist’s attention.
Do everything you can to achieve the best result
Keeping your teeth clean, visiting your orthodontist regularly, and reconsidering the food you eat are simple yet effective steps to ensure you get the best results from wearing braces. When you take care of your dental braces properly, they become more comfortable and effective, taking you a step closer to the perfect smile you’ve always dreamed of.
Dr. Zul Paliwalla is the General and Cosmetic British Dentist at NOA Dental Clinic, specializing in smile-related concerns. With over 33 years of experience in the UK, Dr. Zul has successfully worked on and improved many internationally recognized smiles. He is a certified Invisalign® GOLD provider as well and has brought his elite expertise to Dubai not only to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand but also to offer his brand of personalized smile makeovers.