Published on March 18, 2019, Updated on April 15, 2019
During orthodontic treatment, it is especially important to maintain good oral health. With the addition of brackets and wires to your mouth, food particles are more likely to get stuck, which can lead to other dental issues if proper care is not taken. Below are a few important tips to remember. If you have any questions about maintenance for your braces, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Brush after every meal. Because your braces can easily attract and trap food particles, brushing after each meal can help prevent staining and reduce the potential for bacteria buildup.
Use a threadable floss or a floss threader. (If using a floss threader, thread regular floss through the eye of the threader, the same way you would with a sewing needle and thread.) Using the small or the pointed end, insert the floss or floss threader between the teeth, but below the archwire. Gently move it back and forth until it is able to thread the floss between the teeth. Once in place, you can floss the two teeth on either side of where you have inserted the floss, taking care not to apply force or pressure against the archwire. Repeat between all teeth.
To brush teeth with a regular soft brush, brush down from the top, then up from the bottom on each tooth with a bracket.
After brushing with a toothbrush, use a proxabrush, commonly referred to as a “Christmas tree brush,” to clean between each bracket. Place the proxabrush between two brackets, below the archwire, brushing up and down. After several strokes, repeat this motion by inserting the brush from the opposite side (either down from the top or up from the bottom).
Foods to Avoid
In order to avoid damage to your braces and your teeth during orthodontic treatment, hard foods, sticky foods, and foods high in sugar should be avoided. Eating foods high in sugar also increases the risk of cavities, especially while wearing braces.
Examples of hard foods to avoid include:
Hard candyNutsChipsPopcornIceCorn on the cobApplesCarrotsCrusty bread
Examples of sticky foods to avoid include:
GumTaffyCaramelTootsie Rolls®Sugar Daddies®Starburst®Skittles®Licorice