- Clean between brackets! It’s important to clean between your braces brackets, especially underneath the wires, with a wire brush. You can pick up a small wire brush from your dentist. This helps get off any plaque which might be on your teeth, and it also helps to avoid future cavities and toothaches.
- Pick the right foods! Hard foods such as apples, carrots, candies, nuts, and chips can break your brace brackets. They can also be incredibly hard to remove from your braces if they get stuck! It’s best to avoid most hard and chewy foods entirely, as they can be incredibly painful and difficult to deal with. If you break a bracket, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible so that it can be fixed. Also, after getting your braces tightened, it’s best to eat only soft food for a few days. This is important, as your teeth are extra sensitive after tightenings and might hurt a little bit too. Opt for foods that require little to no chewing, such as applesauce or soup.
- Be extra careful brushing your teeth! Braces require a little extra maintenance when brushing. Before you start, you’ll need to take off elastics. After that, it’s important to brush for at least two minutes. You should be making round movements with your toothbrush over each individual brace, to get out any leftover food and to ensure your breath smells alright! Be sure to get underneath the wires too.
- Use mouthwash! This is important whether you have braces or not, but mouthwash can be really helpful in two ways. First, it makes your breath smell minty and fresh after a long day of eating many different meals and snacks. Second, it removes any other tiny bits of food which might still be in your mouth. Listerine is an excellent mouthwash to start with, and it comes with many different flavours to choose from as well.
- Floss! We all know that flossing helps clean your teeth, but with braces it’s even more important to remove those food pieces which might be stuck. Carefully thread the floss underneath and around your braces, and you’re good to go!