Taking care of your braces (as well as your other dental work) does not need to be complicated. In fact, taking even basic care of your teeth now could prevent costly dental procedures later. Of course, knowing how to properly care for your teeth involves knowing exactly what is happening when you have those braces glued on.
When you have braces, your teeth are being moved through the gums to new positions. This means that your teeth could feel loose and your mouth could feel pain as the roots of your teeth move through the gums to their new positions. Make sure you pay special attention to any teeth that feel particularly loose—do not wiggle them around yourself or even think about seeing if you can pull them. Instead, immediately call your orthodontist to see what can be done to make the tooth (or teeth) more secure.
One of the most common problems with braces is the wires of the braces rub against your cheeks and lips and can cause painful sores. Also, as your teeth move closer together, the wires of your braces could end up sticking out of the back of your braces and poking into your cheeks. These pokes could result in oral ulcers, especially if you don’t attend to them. When you get your braces tightened, your orthodontist will most likely send you home with some dental wax to be used just for the occasion of pokey wires and sores. Fix a small amount of the wax to any protruding wires to protect your cheek and call your orthodontist to see if you can get in to have the wire clipped. You could also use the dental wax to “pad” any sores in your mouth to shield them from rubbing against the wires further and making the sores worse.
Obviously while your teeth are adorned with your braces, you will want to take extra care to make sure that your dental hygiene routine is impeccable. One of the best tools for oral care while you have braces is a water pik. This can be used in addition to regular brushing to get the spaces between your teeth clean. Flossing is difficult when you have braces and the water pik helps to clean the places you’ve missed. You will also want to invest in whatever mouth wash your orthodontist recommends as it will help protect your teeth during the day.
Teeth are easier to break down while they have braces fixed to them, so make sure that you eat softer foods and try your best to stay away from the sugars and acidic foods that are bad for your teeth. Follow the directions given to you by your orthodontist and you’ll have a beautiful and healthy smile in no time!