Congratulations on getting your new braces! Watch the video below to learn how to keep your braces in tip-top shape, brush up on how to brush and floss with braces, learn what foods to avoid, and more. We hope you find this video helpful as you begin your smile journey!

Congratulations on your new braces! Orthodontics will help improve your smile, mouth, and jaw but you’ll need to apply some care and attention along the way. It’s easy to keep your braces in tip-top shape and avoid painful irritation or damage when you follow these tips.

How To Brush With Braces

Brushing with braces proper brushing is vital to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You must develop a habit of cleaning all the surfaces of every tooth. Plaque can build up around your gums and cause gingivitis. However plaque is soft and can be easily removed with the proper brushing techniques. 

Flossing With Braces 

Start by brushing the outer surfaces of your teeth and braces with a gentle circular motion. You’ll want to tilt your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to clean the top and bottom of the braces. Concentrate on the portions of your teeth between the gums and the braces. These are the areas that are most commonly missed when brushing. 

Also give attention to the chewing and inside surfaces of your teeth and don’t forget to brush your tongue for best results. We recommend a Sonicare toothbrush to clean between the brackets of your braces. You can use a proxy brush one is provided in your kit. If you need more, you can purchase them from any drugstore. Insert the proxy brush under the arch wire and gently work it in an up and down motion. By doing this you will clean the surfaces of your teeth to the left and right of the braces. Do this between all your brackets and bands and remember to brush three to four times a day for two full minutes. 

To clean in between your teeth you will need to floss. The best way to floss your teeth when you have braces is to use an orthodontic floss threader. The floss threader will easily move dental floss underneath the wire. To use the floss threader pull the floss through the threader and use it to direct the floss under the arch wire. Floss gently and push the floss between two teeth then wrap the floss around one tooth in the shape of a c and gently move the floss up and down. Most floss threaders are reusable and can be rinsed with warm water after use. 

From the beginning make it a habit to floss every day. At first flossing with the threader may take some time to learn but as you practice every day you will get better and faster at flossing. 

How To Handle Irritation 

Although there are very few true orthodontic emergencies, you may experience minor pain and irritation during the course of treatment. Arch wires and ligatures may sometimes poke your lips and gums. This is often a problem that can be fixed at home. 

  • Tweezers can be used to reinsert arch wires that have slipped out of the molar tube.
  • Orthodontic wax can be used to cover arch wires that stick out of the brackets.
  • Nail clippers can be used to clip broken arch wires that are poking out.
  • Pencil Eraser If wax cannot ease your discomfort use a pencil eraser to push in ligature wires that are causing lip or gum irritation. 

During the first week of treatment you may notice sores inside your mouth. This can happen because your lips and cheeks are not familiar with rubbing against your braces. To provide some relief to your lips and cheeks you can place a small pea-sized amount of wax on the area of the braces that is causing discomfort. To place the wax, break off a piece and roll it into a pea-sized ball to get the wax to stick. Dry the area with a cotton swab and then press the ball of wax over the area of irritation.

Food And Braces

Remove the wax when eating or brushing and reapply when needed. Be cautious with certain foods. Apples, carrots, and celery are fine if they’re chopped into small bite-sized pieces. Corn must be cut off the cob to be eaten. Be careful when eating foods like chicken and ribs because the bones can cause damage to your braces.

Avoid eating any foods that are hard or sticky. Foods like chips, nuts, bagels, and other hard breads can break brackets, bend arch wires and loosen bands. Bubble gum, hard candy, caramel, and popcorn should also be avoided. Avoid soda, carbonated beverages, sports drinks, and juices. These contain excess sugars that have an acidic pH and can cause white spots on the teeth. Never chew ice as it will destroy your braces. Remember, in order to have your best smile, you not only need straight teeth but also clean and healthy teeth. Chewing the ends of pencils and pens will also cause severe damage to your braces.

We hope these tips help you take care of your teeth throughout your journey with braces. If you have any questions about these brushing and flossing techniques consult with your orthodontist.

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