Traditional Braces: A Basic Braces Maintenance Checklist

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woman's teeth in braces

Braces help straighten and correct our bite and teeth alignment, however, they can make oral care a lot harder due to their obstructive nature. That’s no excuse to stop or lessen their oral hygiene habit, though. In fact, due to having braces, you should be keener on your oral hygiene practice as food gets stuck a lot more easily and certain components could break or snap if poorly maintained. If it’s your braces’ job to keep your teeth “in line,” it’s your job to take care of your braces.

Whether you’ve recently just had your braces installed from your dentist or orthodontist in Townsville, or have had braces for a while now, you should keep in mind these basic tips and oral hygiene routines to make sure that your braces and overall oral health are well maintained:

Avoid Food That Could Damage or Obstruct Your Braces

  • Hard Food. Avoid hard, chewy, and sticky food. Hard food such as pretzels, carrots, and the like can cause your bands or wires to snap, which could be painful and expensive. But, if you still wish to eat your hard vegetables and fruits, try cutting them into smaller pieces or blend them (let your kitchen tools do your chewing for you). Also, it would be the best time to get rid of your habit of chewing on non-food items such as pencils and pens as they can also potentially damage your braces.
  • Chewy and Sticky Food. Chewy and sticky food can get stuck into braces and might even cause them to break or snap, especially hard and chewy food like nougats.
  • Sugary Food. Minimise sugary food intake as bacteria that form plaque are quite partial towards sugar. Eating sugary food such as candies, cookies, ice cream, or sodas could lead to more-than-usual and even severe plaque as food get stuck around brackets and contribute to plaque buildup.
  • High Acidity Food. Eat food with low acidity as they won’t damage your tooth’s enamel. Low acidity food such as eggs, milk, seafood, vegetables, and yogurt can easily be incorporated into your diet. Not only would this dietary restriction help maintain your teeth and braces, but could improve your overall health.

Improved and Thorough Oral Hygiene Routine

woman flossing her teeth in front of a mirror

Having braces means that food is more likely to get trapped in your teeth and braces’ brackets, which could lead to issues such as tooth decay, bad breath, and could even damage your braces. Make it a habit to brush thoroughly and floss after eating (or at least vigorously rinse with water or mouthwash if you don’t have them with you).

Before brushing and flossing, you should remove the inter-arch rubber bands so you can brush your teeth thoroughly. If you’re uncomfortable with flossing, there are water floss available, and you could also use an electric toothbrush instead of a normal one if it makes brushing easier. After brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth, make sure to inspect your teeth and braces to make sure they’re free from any trapped food.

Proper braces maintenance not only ensures that they work properly, but also prevents any damage or issues with your braces. Consequently, following these instructions help you keep a healthy set of teeth and gums as well. Make sure to keep this guide in mind in your dental routine, and, with the help of your well-maintained braces, you’ll have that healthy smile you’ve always yearned for.