How to Care For Your Braces
Dr. Miller has a reputation for creating beautiful smiles for patients in Newmarket, Aurora, Bradford, East Gwillimbury, and the surrounding communities.
If you have braces, here is some advice about how to take care of them.
Tips For Braces Care
Click here to learn about foods to avoid.
Put some extra effort into keeping your teeth healthy during your orthodontic treatment.
To get the best results from your orthodontic treatment and end up with the healthiest smile possible, you need to keep your teeth and gums clean and pristine. Brushing and flossing regularly will help accomplish this.
You’ll reap the benefits of a healthy, beautiful, lifelong smile when your braces come off, and all you had to do was put a little extra effort into keeping your teeth clean.
If you don’t put in the extra effort to care for your braces, you might discover white spots on your teeth when your braces are taken off. No one wants that!
Your Part in the Process
You, your dentist, and Dr. Miller can only accomplish your smile goals if you all work together.
You play a critical part in making sure the treatment is successful. It’s your mouth, after all. You’re the only person responsible for keeping your teeth and gums clean and hygienic during your orthodontic treatment.
The correct methods of keeping your teeth clean take more work, but it will pay off in the end. It’s the only way to get the best end result.
Always Fight Plaque
What is plaque? It’s a colorless, sticky film that collects on your teeth.
Made up of bacteria, food, and saliva, if you let plaque and food stay on and around your braces, you might end up with bad breath, cavities, sore and swollen gums, and even permanent marks on your teeth.
We strongly suggest brushing your teeth multiple times a day to remove plaque.
As your Newmarket orthodontist, we’ll teach you the proper way to floss and brush with braces on so you can remove plaque.
Every time you have a meal or snack, brush your teeth! If you can’t brush right away, make sure you rinse well with water as a placeholder until you can brush.
It’s a good idea to keep a travel toothbrush so you can keep your teeth clean on the go. Every day you should brush your teeth and braces until they’re spotless and then floss.
Since this takes some extra time, before bed may be the best time, so you aren’t running late in the morning.
Brushing your teeth may seem like a basic skill, but you’ll need to relearn a few things during your treatment.
You’ll be able to better clean cracks and crevices between your teeth as well as around brackets and wires.
Remember these tips when you’re brushing:
- Use a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush and high-quality fluoride toothpaste. Remember that your toothbrushes will wear out more quickly when you’re brushing your braces, so replace your brush when you see any evidence of wear.
- Brush every surface of your teeth, including and fronts, sides, and backs, as well as all parts of your braces. Don’t forget about your tongue and the roof of your mouth. You can tell if your braces are as clean as they should be if your brackets and shiny, and you can see the edges clearly.
- Don’t forget about your gums, but make sure you brush them gently.
- Rinse after your brush.
- Look at your teeth and braces closely in a well-lit mirror. Check for loose or broken brackets, as well as making sure your braces are spotlessly clean. Contact Miller Orthodontics if you find any issues, and we’ll determine if we need to schedule an appointment to remedy the issue.
Our helpful orthodontic team in Newmarket has some flossing tips to help make the process easier.
- Floss every night so you can take your time.
- You might need to use a floss threader. This tool enables you to get the dental floss underneath your archwire.
- Focus on cleaning along and under the gum line.
- It’s important to floss with braces on, even though it may seem difficult. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t even have to think about it.
More Hygiene Tips
You’re used to using tools like toothbrushes and floss, but there are a few additional products that we recommend to make keeping your teeth clean easier.
- Interproximal Brush: This is a tool that can fit under your archwire to clean plaque and food particles right around your braces.
- Prescription Fluoride Toothpaste or Fluoride Rinse: If these are prescribed by Dr. Miller, use once a day with your interproximal brush to get the best fluoride protection possible.
- Power Toothbrush or Waterpik: These can make it easier to keep your braces clean, and can make the process more efficient.
Expect These Problems If You Have Poor Oral Hygiene
- Without good hygiene, plaque and food can gather around your braces.
- Sugars and starches in food react with bacteria in plaque to form an acid that gradually damages the enamel on your teeth. This causes white marks, cavities and gum disease.
- Plaque that gathers around your braces can also cause permanent decalcification stains on your teeth. These lines and spots will stay on your teeth for life.
- Periodontal disease happens when plaque builds up on your teeth, and it happens in three stages. Plaque in this first stage will irritate your gums until they become puffy and swollen, and they may even bleed when you brush and floss. This is called gingivitis.
- Built-up plaque can eventually harden into tartar, and as this substance accumulates, it can cause gaps or pockets to develop between your gums and teeth, and then even more tarter may find a home in the pockets. This is called periodontitis.
- Over time, these pockets attract bacteria that will push deeper beneath your gums, where it destroys the bone that holds your teeth in place. Your teeth can loosen or even fall out. This is advanced periodontitis.
Avoiding Gum Disease
With the help of a professional and some extra effort at home, you can reverse early gum disease. If you don’t intervene, it can get worse.
You may not feel any pain from gum disease, so look out for signs like bleeding or swollen, puffy gums.
Carefully follow the instructions that Dr. Miller and his team give you to avoid problems like these.