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smile in tip top shape

6 Ways To Keep Your Braces & Smile In Tip-Top Shape

Are you new to wearing braces and interested in some insight on keeping them clean and well taken care of? This article is for you! We know it can be hard and frustrating trying to adjust your lifestyle to having braces, but try to remember it isn’t a forever change! We’ve come up with 6 tips and tricks you can do that won’t take any extra time and only a little effort on your end. The better care you take of your braces, the better success you will have with them working!

1) Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

Hard-bristled brushes can damage certain parts of your braces and ultimately cause deterioration to the metal plating of the wires, which in turn causes you to spend more time in the office!

2) Use the Mouthwash Your Dentist Gives You

Dentists will prescribe a mouthwash that is antiseptic specifically for their orthodontic patients. Using a liquid dental cleaner is the best option for people with braces because the liquid can pass through the very small spaces in your teeth, over and under your braces- keeping your braces cleaner and less likely to cause problems!

3) Brush Your Tongue

Your tongue holds a ton of bacteria from food! it can reproduce and cause bad breath. You can either use your regular toothbrush to clean it or they have specific “tongue scrapers” you can buy as well! Either way, being sure your tongue is nice and clean will help keep the bacteria at bay helping your breath stay fresh! How does this relate to your braces? Your braces can harbor the bacteria that is spread easily from your tongue if not brushed away!

4) Break Your Habit of Using Your Teeth on Non-Food Items

Do you tend to chew on the end of your pen or other foreign objects when nervous or bored? When having braces, you can severely damage them by doing this! It’s a hard habit to kick, but it’s worth it in the end because even when you get your braces taken off, chewing on non-food items can damage your teeth (this includes ice too).

5) Quite Your Gum Chewing

This is a hard one because gum can seem to help a lot of different situations: Nervous about a social gathering? Gum. Have bad coffee breathe or forget to brush your teeth? Gum. It’s a normal go-to for pretty much anything! Nevertheless, while you have your braces on, it’s going to be a huge time saver to just quit the gum at least until you’re done with your treatment. Sugar-free mints are a fantastic alternative though!

6) Stay Away From Hard Foods

Nuts, bagels, French bread, apples, carrots and other foods that need a lot of chewing and biting may cause damage to certain components that make up your braces. However, you can usually find a way to make certain hard, sticky or chewy foods less difficult to eat. Get creative!

Be sure to keep in mind that this list is not all you need to do, it’s important you always follow the instructions given by your Orthodontist first! These tips are only to help you keep your braces in good shape and help the process go smoother for you. If you are having a hard time with any of these tips or you need more information, you can always call your local orthodontist and get advice from them. It can also be fun to talk to someone who has had braces in the past or a little longer than you- sometimes they have fun tips and tricks that will help you get through your treatment plan and make it a little less frustrating at times.

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We are thrilled that you’re looking into orthodontics and taking the time to educate yourself on what all is involved! Your mouth, whats in it, and how you take care for it actually play a major roll in your overall health and happiness. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule your complimentary consultation, please call (541) 749-2098.