Cleaning and caring for your braces can feel daunting as you begin treatment. While braces require more effort than usual to keep them in perfect condition, this essential step may be easier than you think! Our team at Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics is here to share how to keep your appliance safe when thinking about the foods you eat and the tools you use to get the job done.
Opt For Braces-Friendly Foods
One way to provide long-term care for your braces is by choosing braces-safe foods. Emergencies, such as broken wires or brackets, often occur when sticky or crunchy foods are consumed, placing pressure on your braces while chewing that it is not meant to withstand. Dr. Lee recommends patients avoid the following foods: fresh vegetables, chips, gummy candies, bagels, popcorn, nuts, and more.
Luckily, you can still enjoy plenty of delicious foods when wearing braces. Our team encourages you to adapt to a softer food diet, including pasta, mashed potatoes, seafood, chicken, eggs, ice cream, and more! If your favorite food is not braces-safe, we promise the wait for your brand-new smile will be worth it. You might even find a new food you love in the meantime.
Selecting the Right Tools for Maintenance
Our team suggests finding a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth and braces. Its gentle material will keep your braces shiny and polished throughout treatment without any harm from rough bristles. Thoroughly clean each surface of your teeth and appliance in a curricular motion for two to three minutes. Consistency in your routine will help maintain functionality and strength for a long time to come.
When you begin treatment with us, you can expect a toothbrush as part of a small kit of items to go home with to help prepare you for the beginning of your smile journey. Properly cleaning your braces each day can be rough on your toothbrush, so having a stock of new ones handy will ensure you never miss your routine. We will happily provide you with a replacement if you request one during a follow-up appointment.
In choosing an effective toothpaste during your braces treatment, Dr. Lee recommends those that include fluoride in the formula. This substance helps to rid the surface of any plaque buildup and lingering bacteria as effectively as possible. Additionally, it is nonabrasive, meaning you won’t have to worry about scratching your appliance. We will be happy to provide you with recommendations for any tools you need for proper oral upkeep.
Mouthwash is an excellent way to complement your oral care routine every night before bed. This liquid typically includes fluoride in its formula, just like your toothpaste, so it doubles down on your protection against decay, cavities, and lingering bacteria. As mentioned, keeping your braces free of these complications will ensure your plan stays on track and in great condition.
The wires connecting each of your brackets together prevent patients from being able to use traditional floss string and sticks. Our practice provides floss threaders to keep your teeth and braces free of food left behind from your meals. This unique tool is in the shape of a threader you may recognize as part of a sewing kit but is made of thin plastic that is safe to go between your teeth.
All you need to do is attach a piece of floss string and thread the tool beneath the wire of each tooth. This will loosen any lingering pieces of food in your teeth and lower your chances of bacteria buildup throughout treatment. When you come in for a follow-up appointment, Dr. Lee can point out specific areas of your mouth that are more likely to trap food you cannot see so you can keep an extra lookout.
Why Keep Your Braces Clean
The average treatment time for braces lasts between one and three years. Keeping them clean throughout this period is essential in maintaining your treatment plan schedule and allowing your smile to be ready to show off immediately after your appliance is removed. Because braces require extra care, making time for your daily oral hygiene routines is essential.
By following the instructions for healthy braces and teeth provided to you by Dr. Lee, you work to protect your teeth from tooth decay, bacteria buildup, staining or discoloration, enamel breakdown, cavities, and more. The better care you take of your teeth now, the brighter your smile will be!
We Are Your Resource!
Keeping track of every step in your oral health care routine can be difficult sometimes, especially as you adjust at the start of treatment. We understand unexpected situations or emergencies may come up that you are not sure how to handle, and that’s where we come in.
Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics is here as your resource throughout your time in braces and beyond! Our team strives to make your experience as stress-free and straightforward as possible. If there is anything we can do to accommodate you throughout treatment, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Protect Your Braces From Harm!
Getting used to wearing and caring for your braces is a learning curve, but we hope this short guide has you feeling more confident in your smile journey! The Dr. Jared Lee Orthodontics team is prepared to help you each step of the way. We provide our expert orthodontic services to Oxnard, Santa Paula, and the surrounding communities. You can schedule your free consultation through our website to get started on life-changing treatment today. We can’t wait to see you at one of our practices!