How to Care for Your Braces
Dr. Kovacs is known for creating beautiful smiles in Montana and Northern Wyoming. Here are our tips to take care of your braces.
Take especially good care of your teeth during orthodontic treatment with Kovacs Orthodontics.
Taking care of your teeth improves your overall health. It’s especially important to brush and floss diligently during orthodontic treatment. We want you to have clean and healthy teeth while we work with you to achieve a great smile.
Braces tend to increase the amount of food that hangs around your teeth, so a consistent oral hygiene regimen is important to prevent decay, decalcification, and gum disease.
With a combination of personal oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings/checkups with your dentist, we can not only help you gain a beautiful smile but a healthy one as well.
If you fail to spend a little extra time caring for your braces, you may end up with white spots on your teeth once the braces are removed. This is an unsightly condition that no one wants.
Doing Your Part
To get the healthy and beautiful smile that you want, you, your family dentist, and Dr. Kovacs will have to work together as a team.
As the patient, you play a key part in keeping your treatment on track, because it’s up to you to make sure that your treatment is successful. Most importantly, you must keep your teeth clean and maintain good dental hygiene while you're wearing braces.
Proper dental care will take a little extra time and effort, but the results are well worth it. It will help you enjoy the best possible smile from your orthodontic treatment.
Plaque Is Your Enemy
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that collects on your teeth. It's made of bacteria, food, and saliva. If you let plaque and trapped food stay on and around your braces, they can cause swollen gums, bad breath, cavities, and permanent marks on your teeth.
As your Billings and Miles City orthodontist, we advise brushing your teeth regularly to remove this plaque. We teach all of our Kovacs Orthodontics patients the correct way to floss while wearing braces to make sure you remove all plaque regularly.
When to Brush
You should brush thoroughly each time you have a meal or snack. If you can't brush right away after a meal, be sure to at least rinse your mouth well with water until you can brush.
Carry a travel toothbrush so that you can brush when you aren’t home. At least once every day, brush your teeth and braces thoroughly until they are spotlessly clean, and then floss. This takes a little extra time, so you may want to do it at night before going to bed.
How to Brush
It is important to brush your teeth at least twice/day to lower your risk of decalcification and decay. Ideally, brushing your teeth four to five times a day is preferred to remove all food that gets stuck on your teeth after meals.
Keep these tips in mind when brushing your teeth with braces:
- Use a toothbrush with a small amount of toothpaste
- Use circular, vibrating motions around the gumline for about 10 seconds on each tooth
- Brush every tooth slowly
- Brush the lower teeth up and the upper teeth down
- Brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth
- Inspect your teeth and braces carefully to make sure they are spotless.
- Look closely in a well-lighted mirror.
- This is a good time to check for loose or broken brackets.
- If you find a problem, contact Kovacs Orthodontics to see if it needs to be checked out, and if we need to schedule a time to make a repair.
How to Floss
While people can often feel that flossing is tedious, it is equally important to help remove food stuck between your teeth. To help with the task while wearing braces, use a floss threader to get under the wires of the braces to reach in-between the teeth.
These tips for flossing with braces will make the process smoother for you, and you'll be a pro in no time.
- Floss nightly after brushing to remove the plaque missed by brushing
- Carefully pull waxed floss between wire and braces
- Floss carefully around the braces
- Floss carefully around the gum area
- Floss around each tooth
Always Use Mouth Rinse
A hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse helps reduce inflammation on your cheeks and gum tissue.
It helps your tissues heal while you have braces. Saltwater rinses are another mouth rinse that can help reduce inflammation and irritation of your gum tissues.
An interdental toothbrush is a helpful tool to clean underneath the wire and the braces.
Cleaning Your Retainers
Cleaning your retainers after braces have been removed should be part of your daily routine to prevent bacteria and plaque from accumulating on your retainer.
To clean your retainers, dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of tap water at room temperature, and soak your appliance once a day.
Please do not eat hard foods:
- Crisp taco shells
- Whole apples and carrots (cut them into pieces first)
- Hard French bread crust and rolls
- Corn on the cob (cut the corn off the cob before eating)
These foods risk breaking brackets and wires. Use common sense about most foods. Also, beware of nail-biting and pen or pencil chewing habits, since these can damage your braces.
Do not eat sticky foods:
- Bubble gum
- Sticky candy of any kind