Caring for your mouth after being fitted with braces is very important. In fact, in many cases, an Austin dentist would agree that brushing your teeth becomes even more pertinent after this equipment is placed in the mouth. There are several things that you can do to protect the braces and your teeth during this time.
Brush, Brush, Brush! Use a soft toothbrush to gently clean around the braces and scrub the surfaces of your teeth that are exposed. Though you should be thorough, you will have difficulty getting to every open area with a traditional toothbrush. For that reason, the orthodontist should have provided you with an angled brush that can be worked beneath the wires and between the braces to clean them more entirely. Use careful attention to clean both sides of each brace. Food and plaque that builds up here can result in decay, infection, or worse. Most dental professionals agree that patients with braces should brush half an hour after each meal or snack. You might also consider the regular use of a fluoride mouthwash or salt water rinse to get rid of lingering food particles. You might find that your dentist is a very big proponent of drinking water throughout the day because this helps rinse the mouth as well.
Floss Floss regularly, but be careful not to tug on the string. Being too forceful when flossing with braces is dangerous; you could hit, bend, or even break a wire. Be gentle while working the string between each pair of teeth.
Special Diet For the most part, you can continue with your normal diet while wearing braces. There are, however, certain foods that you will want to avoid. Those that are hard to bite, such as apples or pears, difficult to chew like taffy, or foods likely to get lodged in the braces (i.e. corn on the cob, popcorn) are not recommended. You should also avoid chewing gum.
Being Active with Braces Go for it! There is no reason that braces should hold you back from your favorite hobbies. However, it is wise to consider a mouth guard when playing sports or participating in other events that have the risk of a blow to the mouth. If you have difficulty finding a mouth guard that fits well, speak with your dentist about having one custom made.
Retainers Brush your retainer every time you brush your teeth. Soak it in denture cleanser at least once each week. Rinse with plain water after soaking and before placing it back in your mouth.
Addressing Complications with the Equipment There are certainly situations that may arise while wearing braces that will call for quick action. Here are a few rules to live by. Loose brackets can be temporarily fixed with orthodontic wax until you can see the dentist. The same is true of a broken wire. You can use tweezers, toothbrush, or eraser end of a pencil to move the wire so that it does not harm the soft tissue in your mouth. Finally, if you have a loose band, save it and schedule an appointment to have it replaced.