The decision to get braces to straighten your teeth is a massive commitment, but with a life-long reward in the end! Depending on the kind of braces or aligners you get, it can have a significant impact on your usual lifestyle and require consistent care. Some aligners like Invisalign have little impact on your daily habits, whereas others like traditional metal braces require substantial care. Braces maintenance is important not only to get the best results, but also to make sure that you don't get unintended negative effects on your teeth and general oral health.
Fixed braces like metal braces, or Incognito lingual braces are attached to your teeth, and as such increase the chances of food getting stuck in the brackets. During your fitting, we will guide you on specific oral hygiene steps, and the necessary items required for your teeth care such as toothbrush, floss and flouride mouthwash.
Removable braces like Invisalign are easier to care for. Because they are removed during meals, not only do you have lesser chances of food being stuck in your teeth, they also make brushing and flossing easier. Removable braces can be cleaned with a normal toothbrush and toothpaste.
Here are some other important points to note to help you take care of your braces and oral health.
Brush your teeth
The mouth contains millions of bacteria that form plaque on the teeth. Plaque buildup over time causes tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease. When you are wearing braces, it’s even more important to maintain this oral hygiene as food can become stuck in the braces themselves. Ideally you should brush your teeth after every meal with a flouride toothpaste. But if not then definitely brush twice a day - morning and at night.
You should use a soft toothbrush and take care to thoroughly clean each tooth. We also recommend a special brush called a proxabrush or "Christmas tree" brush, which is specially designed for cleaning between two braces.
Watch your diet
Depending on the kind of braces you get, you may need to follow certain diet restrictions and/or food discipline. With metal braces, you need to be careful with eating - avoid taking big bites, and chew carefully. Hard foods like apples or carrots can be specially difficult on braces, so cut them up in bite-sized pieces so you don't scrape your teeth against them. Avoid too much of starchy or sugar foods and fizzy drinks like soft drinks - they are not good for your teeth! Also must avoid sticky foods like chewing gum, caramels and stick jaw toffees.
If you are wearing Invisalign, or other removable aligners, then take them out while eating. You don't have to follow any diet restrictions with Invisalign, but careful meal planning is recommended.
Repair your braces
Your braces will only work if they are intact and in place. Broken braces are not only ineffective, they can be painful, annoying or even worse, dangerous. So you need to be proactive about repairs. If, for any reason, you suspect that your braces don't fit right, or might be broken or damaged somewhere, come in to see us. It is important you don't fidget with your braces or put fingers in your mouth to move around the braces or wires.
Depending on the type of braces you get, and the alignment needs of your teeth, some amount of pain and/or discomfort can be expected. But braces don't require you to live in pain! So if you feel pain or even just uneasy about your braces, feel free to call us or just drop by the Skin 'n Smiles Clinic for a quick check in.
Maintaining your braces and keeping up with a good dental hygiene habits mean fewer trips to see the doctor, and more importantly, a faster track to bringing out your perfect smile! Besides whats shared here, if you have any other questions about your braces, feel free to get in touch.