How To Take Care of Your Teeth With Braces

oral hygiene

Whether you are an adult or a parent of a young adult that is considering orthodontic treatment, many things should be considered before making a decision. One of the most significant decisions you will have to make with the help of your orthodontist will be what type of braces you will use to undergo treatment. 

At Rose Rock Orthodontics, we will discuss proper oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment using clear aligners or ceramic braces in Enid.

Additionally to giving you oral hygiene routine tips, we will also talk about the dangers of tooth decay, what it is, what causes it, and everything in between. So, let’s start. 

Tooth Decay 

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), untreated Cavities can cause discomfort and infections, making eating, speaking, playing, and learning difficulties.

Furthermore, untreated cavities can lead to an abscess (a dangerous infection) behind the gums, which can spread to other regions of the body and cause significant and deadly consequences.

Cavities are small openings or holes in the hard surface of your teeth that are permanently damaged. Cavities, also known as tooth decay or caries, are caused by several reasons, including germs in the mouth, frequent snacking, drinking sugary beverages, and not brushing your teeth thoroughly.

Cavities and dental decay are two of the most common health issues worldwide. Children, teenagers, and older persons are more susceptible. Cavities can affect anyone with teeth, including infants.

Cavities that aren’t addressed become larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth if they aren’t treated. They can cause a lot of pain, infection, and tooth loss. Your best defense against cavities and tooth decay is regular dental appointments and proper brushing and flossing routines.

As you can see, the secret to a healthy smile is simply a perfect oral hygiene routine. But what does a perfect oral hygiene routine entail? Plus, how do you do it while wearing ceramic braces in Enid?

How to Brush Your Teeth With Braces?

Take heart if you or someone in your family has braces. If you keep these three things in mind, you’ll be flashing a confident smile before realizing it.

Plaque on and between your teeth is easier to reach once your teeth have been straightened with braces. Plaque and food particles have more locations to accumulate and become trapped while wearing braces.

When you have braces on your teeth, expect to spend three times as much time on oral hygiene. Don’t worry; it’ll be well worth your time. You increase your risk of gum disease if you ignore oral hygiene while your teeth are straightened. Plus, when it’s time to get your braces off. 

Proper Brushing with Braces 

To begin: Elastics, bands, and other removable pieces of orthodontic appliances should be removed.

Make sure your braces are clean: Clean around cables and pins with care.

Each wire should be brushed: Move your toothbrush from top to bottom and around your upper and lower teeth.

Brush your teeth: We recommend cleaning your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. That implies 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth.

Check your teeth after rinsing: Rinse the dish well. In the mirror, examine your teeth and braces, keeping an eye out for any leftover food particles.

Flossing with Ceramic Braces in Enid 

Flossing with braces is difficult. Still, it can be learned with practice if you follow these steps:

Use waxed floss (unwaxed floss is more likely to get caught and shred in your braces), dental tape, or a product made specifically to clean around your braces once a day. Before crossing two teeth, carefully thread waxed floss under the primary wire. Don’t snap it; instead, carefully move it up and down, remove it, and continue to the next set of teeth. You can use self-threading or regular floss with a floss threader to place above and below the orthodontic wire.

Use a sufficient amount: Approximately 18 inches of floss should be adequate.

Thread it with care: Take the floss and thread it carefully beneath the braces’ primary wire before passing it between two teeth. The floss should then be removed and re-threaded under the primary wire to pass between the following two teeth.

Do not snap the floss; instead, gently move it up and down against the side of each tooth.

Interdental Brushes 

During your time with braces, another lifesaver will be interdental brushes. A small, specially designed brush called an interdental brush (IDB) is used to clean between the teeth or brackets where a standard toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental brushes are used to clean between the teeth by those without braces, but orthodontic patients also use them to clean around and between the brackets and wires on their teeth.

Ask your orthodontist which size will work best for your smile before purchasing an IDB. Interdental brushes are available in various sizes and colors to benefit many sorts of smiles. After brushing with a standard toothbrush, orthodontic patients should utilize the interdental brush once daily.

Follow these guidelines to properly use an interdental brush:

  • Move the appliance up and down on either side of the brackets.
  • When moving from one tooth to the next, pass the brush along the orthodontic wire, moving it up and down.
  • After each use, give it a good rinse.
  • When the brush begins to show signs of wear, replace it.

How To Clean Clear Aligners in Enid

Invisible aligners are a fantastic approach to straightening and correcting your teeth.

However, because they are detachable, they require a different type of care than traditional braces. We’ll show you how to clean and care for your invisible aligners below.

Cleaning your aligners can be done in a variety of ways. The majority of them require you to soak your aligner trays in a water-based solution for a specific amount of time. The most common are listed below:

Soaking in Water with Antibacterial Soap.

Soaking your aligners in antibacterial soap is the most straightforward approach for thoroughly cleaning your aligners.

A fair bit of gentle, antibacterial soap in a bowl of somewhat warm water will do the trick. Combine these ingredients in a mixing bowl until the soap has dissolved and bubbles appear on the surface.

Allow 20 to 30 minutes for them to soak in the mixture. To finish the cleaning process, rinse your aligners well with cold water once most germs have been removed.

Crystals for Invisalign

Invisalign crystals are the best item you can use to clean your trays. They’re designed to accomplish the job without damaging or discoloring your braces.

Fill a jar half full of warm water. Tear open a cleaning crystal packet and mix it into the water until it dissolves fully.

Put your trays in the solution and soak them for around 15 minutes.

Remove them from your mouth and brush them well before rinsing and replacing them.

Do Clear Braces Stain?

“No,” is the short answer. The clear brackets are made of ceramic and will not discolor. The elastic ties that we use to secure the wire to the brackets, on the other hand, can discolor. Coffee, tea, wine, soda, tomato sauce, turmeric, and foods with heavy colors, such as packaged mac & cheese, stain the ties.

Avoiding intensely colored meals and drinks and brushing quickly after eating and drinking is the best approach to prevent discoloration. If brushing isn’t possible right away, try rinsing with water. The idea is to keep the pigments on the ties for as little time as possible.

What Foods Should I Avoid?

Achieving the smile of your dreams takes time and dedication. Since you have taken a step towards a perfect smile and better overall health by starting orthodontic treatment, you must avoid eating certain foods that can damage your braces.

Some foods are easier to eat while wearing braces than others. Some foods you should avoid with braces include:

  • Chewing gum
  • Popcorn
  • Chewy candies
  • Ice
  • Nuts
  • Hard candies
  • Pretzels and hard crackers
  • Chips
  • Crunchy fruits, and vegetables.

The brackets and wires that come with braces can be damaged by hard meals, necessitating an emergency trip to the dentist for repairs. Popcorn or chewy candy, for example, can become caught underneath the apparatus. Braces make brushing and flossing difficult, so getting them off can be difficult.

Sweet foods and beverages should be avoided as much as possible since they cause plaque to build upon the teeth. Because braces make it more difficult to clean teeth correctly, this raises the risk of tooth decay.

Foods that can damage or become lodged beneath braces aren’t the only thing that clear brace wearers must be concerned about. The appliance’s tooth-colored components might gather stains, making them more visible in the wearer’s mouth. Foods that can stain ceramic braces include the following:

  • Curry and turmeric-based dishes
  • Beets/Berries
  • mustard (yellow)
  • red wine
  • Tea/Coffee
  • Soy sauce 
  • Artificially colored foods are foods that have been artificially colored.
  • Dark soda

Remember that the key to keeping both your current and future smile healthy is sticking to a proper oral hygiene routine. We know it takes patience and time, but we promise it will be worth it. 

Call us today if you have any questions about starting an orthodontic treatment or scheduling a checkup appointment with Dr. Williams!

We look forward to seeing you walk through our door.

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