Adjusting to life with braces can take some time. From the way you eat, to your daily brushing habits, and even the tools you use for dental hygiene – all will need some refinement when you begin wearing braces. With proper care and a little patience, you’ll soon have the straight, bright teeth you were wishing for. Our team at Mountain Shadows understands that there is a bit of a learning curve with any type of orthodontics, so we have put together this best practice guide to help you get the most out of your braces.
Best Practice Guide for Wearing Braces
- Listen to your orthodontist and follow their instructions.
- Do not rip packaging open with your teeth.
- Do not pull or adjust the wires on your braces – if they are uncomfortable, please let your orthodontist know.
- Keep dental floss or floss picks handy, just in case you get anything stuck in your braces when you’re eating.
- Brush your teeth after every meal at an angle to ensure you reach between every bracket and wire. It is best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and remember to floss daily.
- If you are somewhere without a toothbrush, rinse your mouth with water after eating to get rid of food and bacteria.
- Flossing can be the trickiest part, but it is also one of the most important. If you’re having any trouble, schedule a cleaning at your dentist’s office. Your oral hygienist can demonstrate how to brush and floss your teeth with braces.
- Use a mouth rinse after flossing to wash away any food debris so it doesn’t get caught in your braces again. Mouthwash also gets rid of the bacteria that form plaque and protects your teeth from cavities.
Your Diet with Braces
Soft Foods. When you have braces, soft foods that don’t require much chewing are best. Things like yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, soup, hummus, refried beans, mashed potatoes, and scrambled eggs are all good things to eat with braces.
Small Bites. You can still eat most of the foods you enjoy, just make sure to cut them up into small bites that slip easily past your braces. Or, throw them in a blender! Instead of chomping on raw fruits and veggies, try smoothies or green juice instead.
What Not to Eat with Braces
- Don’t eat anything that’s difficult to chew or that you would have to tear with your teeth, like bagels or beef jerky.
- Never chew on non-food objects, ice cubes, or anything hard, like nuts.
- Stay away from anything sticky, especially candy and chewing gum.
- Avoid stringy foods like celery and starchy foods like potato chips.
- Don’t eat things that might get caught in your braces, like popcorn and seeds.
When to Call Your Dentist
- It’s normal for your teeth to ache a little bit after an adjustment, but if you’re experiencing severe pain, talk to your orthodontist right away.
- If you snap a wire, contact your orthodontist immediately.
- Broken braces can damage your mouth and slow down your treatment, so it’s important to get them repaired as soon as possible.
- If you get something caught in your braces and need some help getting it out, schedule an urgent cleaning.
Find an Orthodontist You Trust
If you have been told by your dentist that you need braces, or you want them for cosmetic reasons – you need an orthodontist you can trust. Whether you choose braces or Invisalign, the team at Mountain Shadows Dental can help you! We partner with the best orthodontists to set you on the right track for success. If you’re interested in getting braces, bookmark this best practice guide and make an appointment with us today.