teens with braces smiling

How to Maintain a Healthy Smile with Braces

January 29, 2021 12:07 am

Getting braces is an exciting time! Embarking on your orthodontic journey means you are one step closer to enjoying a healthier, straighter smile. Because braces are attached to the teeth, they require certain changes to your diet and oral hygiene routine. You can experience tooth discoloration and dental disease unless you meticulously maintain good oral health habits during your orthodontic treatment.

Here are some pointers to help you or your child maintain a healthy smile with braces!

  1. Avoid Restricted Foods
  2. There are several food items you want to avoid to keep your braces and teeth safe. For example, certain foods are more likely to cause cavities when braces are involved (because teeth are harder to clean) and others can damage the brackets and wires. Check out this list of some of the most common foods to avoid during orthodontic treatment:

    • Gum (even if it’s sugar-free!)
    • Hard Bread
    • Corn on the Cob
    • Whole Apples
    • Ice
    • Hard Nuts
    • Popcorn
    • Taffy
    • Caramel
    • Sticky & Hard Candy

  3. Brush & Floss Thoroughly
  4. With brackets covering the front side of teeth and wires expanding across the upper and lower arches, we understand that it can be frustrating to brush and floss every day. Patients are more likely to get cavities while they have braces because bacteria and food particles can easily accumulate in hard-to-reach places. With braces, proper brushing and flossing takes more time and patience. Fortunately, there are many tools patients can use to make their oral hygiene routine more effective!

  5. Utilize Special Cleaning Tools
  6. Water flossers are a game-changer with braces. A water flosser can easily clean between teeth and around brackets, pushing food debris and bacteria out of crevices with pressurized water. Additionally, many electric toothbrushes have orthodontic brush heads that are specifically designed to clean around brackets and wires. We also advise having a set of proxy brushes with you everywhere you go. These small brushes resemble mini pipe-cleaners and are great for cleaning underneath wires and around brackets after meals.

Are you considering getting braces for you or your child? Look no further than Tots to Teens Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Laredo, TX! We offer metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign®. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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