Embracing change: Caring for your braces
This is the first in a series of five articles about caring for your braces
At Orthosmile Orthodontics we are committed to helping our patients care for their braces while they’re at home. This five part series on caring for your braces will take an in-depth look at the best ways you can maintain your oral health and your braces throughout your treatment.
Having braces placed
When your braces are placed your lips will feel as though they are sticking out. It will take a few days for your lips, tongue and cheeks to get accustomed to your new hardware. You may also feel a sort of general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 to 7 days.
Your lips, cheeks and tongue may (or may not) become irritated for a couple of weeks, however they will toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces.
Orthodontic wax is available to help alleviate irritation and discomfort. With that said, the Orthosmile team recommend that you actually don’t use the wax (at least in the initial) to allow your cheeks and lips to adapt faster and get tougher against the braces.
If you do use wax and run out, call us and we can supply you with more orthodontic wax.
5 things you need to know about caring for your braces
Cleaning your braces
You need to maintain a meticulous oral hygiene routine. While normally you only need to brush your teeth twice a day (after breakfast and before bed). When you have braces you need to brush your teeth after every meal—and snacks.
If you don’t keep your teeth and braces clean you can cause irreparable damage to your tooth enamel. There is, as always, the risk of gum disease if you neglect your oral health.
How you should be brushing your teeth
It may seem strange, but there is a right way to brush your teeth and a wrong way. The best way to brush your teeth is by pointing your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards the gum.
Brush your gums, and then move the brush gently along the gum line using a circular motion. You need to remember that you should always brush your gums as well as your teeth.
Spend 5 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth (fun fact: this means you’ll spend 2 ½ minutes just brushing your teeth).
Now you need to brush your braces
You want to keep your brackets nice and shiny. Press your toothbrush so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth. You should brush in and around the brackets and wires of your braces so that you can clean under the wires.
Brush your tongue gently from back to front. Did you know tongue plaque is a common cause of bad breath?
Floss your teeth: even if you don’t have braces you should be flossing your teeth.
It’s especially important because it removes plaque that your toothbrush cannot. The Orthosmile team recommend you use floss that is waxed every night before you brush your teeth.
To floss properly gently move the floss between your teeth so the floss goes beyond contact with your teeth. There are a variety of ways you can floss: from traditional floss to using a floss threader, feel free to talk with the Orthosmile team about your options.
Thank you for reading; we’ll be posting part two and three of caring for braces next month. If you have any questions, or would like to know more, please contact Orthosmile Orthodontics.