It is not nearly as complicated to take care of your braces as it might seem before you get them. When you first get them fixed to your teeth, the list of things you need to do to care for your mouth can be extensive and feel overwhelming. Thankfully, taking care of braces can be broken down into two basic categories: dental hygiene and diet discipline.
Your dental hygiene is especially important when you have braces. That quick pass over your teeth that you would do before (it’s okay, we all do it) isn’t going to be at all helpful now. Now you need to brush. Floss and use a mouth rinse every single day. It is also helpful to employ a water pik. Because braces make your teeth move, they aren’t going to get the nutrients that they would normally get from your jaw and the tissues that are surrounding your teeth’s roots. Not just that but glue will be slowly but surely eating away at the enamel on your teeth which makes them weaker than usual. Your orthodontist is going to give you a dental hygiene protocol that you need to follow to keep your mouth healthy. Follow it to the letter.
There are two major components of diet discipline. First is that you really do need to avoid all of the foods that are on the list of “no foods” that your orthodontist gave you after you had your braces put on. This list is going to include sticky snacks like caramel and gum. It will also give you a guide for how to prepare foods that you used to eat whole so that you can still eat them (thinly sliced apples instead of whole apples, carrot sticks, instead of those baby carrots, etc). Pay attention to these guidelines and adhere to them. Sticky foods can pull brackets off of your teeth and damage your wires. Harder foods can put too much pressure onto your teeth as you chew them (which is why you slice them up, to make them more manageable).
Not only should you avoid specific foods and prepare certain foods in certain ways, you also need to make sure that you’re eating a calcium rich diet and eating lots of things that are good for your teeth. Dairy products and leafy greens are good. Whole grains are good. You need to fortify your teeth and gums from the inside as well as from the outside with proper dental hygiene.
It isn’t as hard as it seems to learn how to properly care for your teeth. Sure it might be time consuming but that is time well spent if it helps you have a healthy and attractive smile, right?