Keeping your teeth clean maintains the health of the gums and enamel during orthodontic braces treatment. This is done by thoroughly brushing at least 3 times per day. Manual and mechanical brushing are both fine. For most children, after breakfast, after school, and before bed are convenient times to do a thorough job. After lunch at least a vigorous rinse and the use of a proxy brush to remove any remaining food bits is advised. For adults, after meals and before bed are the most common times for brushing.
A fluoride rinse should be done after brushing at bedtime, with no eating or water rinse to follow.
With braces, flossing is done by feeding floss under the wire with a floss theader or more conveniently with a flossing aid for braces by the names of “Plackers” or “Platypus.” We will instruct you on flossing during your visit to the office. A waterpik is also a useful aid in maintaining oral health and is probably best used after brushing to flush away the loosened plaque and food, and to massage the gum tissue. A waterpik is not a substitute for brushing.
Foods To Avoid:
It only takes one wrong bite to cause damage to braces, so be overcautious when considering what foods to eat. If damage occurs, treatment progress is delayed.
Foods that will cause braces to be bent, broken, or loosened are in the categories of hard, crunchy and chewy. It’s impossible to list every food item, so the patient must be the judge based on the examples given. Here are some examples: hard candies, whole fruits and vegetables, gum, granola, ice, bagels, popcorn, hard chips, and caramels. Nonfood items can break things too--such as pens and pencils.
Sugary foods should be limited. Braces will keep foods in contact with the teeth and gums for longer periods of time. In the case of sweets, this can be dangerous, leading to decalcification of enamel. After eating it is best to brush and rinse.