Braces are a common treatment used to correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws. It is also a highly effective treatment. Braces use small brackets, traditionally metal, that are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth. A wire spans across the arch of teeth, attached to each bracket with the assistance of an elastic O-ring, or ligature. The goal of braces is to not only straighten your teeth, which provides you with a more beautiful smile but also to improve your oral health as well. For your braces to do their job properly, it is essential that you take care of them. Sawrie Orthodontics is here to help.
Braces and Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing are essential habits for preventing the buildup of plaque and bacteria that can lead to gum disease and cavities. While these habits are essential every day, they are even more crucial during your treatment with braces.
While wearing your braces, your brushing and flossing routine will need to be adjusted a bit. Brushing first thing in the morning and before you go to bed is still critical, but it is also important to brush following every meal. Every time you brush, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and soft, circular motions. Angle the bristles against the brackets to clean around them. Brush under the wires as well. You may notice that your toothbrush wears out faster than before you got your braces. As soon as you notice your bristles fraying, change your brush, even if it is before the recommended three months.
With braces, food can get stuck against the brackets and under the wires. Flossing is essential. However, you may notice that flossing is more tedious. A floss threader can be exceptionally helpful in getting the floss under the wires between your brackets. Once you get the floss under the brackets, work it back and forth very gently to get it between your teeth. Scrape up and down the sides of your teeth and just below the gum line. Floss around the brackets and under the wire. Make sure that you get between every tooth as well as behind your very back teeth.
Braces are a very effective treatment for correcting the alignment of your teeth, but they need to be properly cared for to do their job effectively. Avoid eating certain types of foods, such as exceptionally hard foods, whole apples, corn on the cob, sticky foods, and foods that are chewy. Any of these foods could dislodge brackets or bend wires. For those who play sports, a specialized mouthguard is essential. We can custom create a special mouthguard just for you that will fit your braces comfortably, providing you with the best possible protection, preventing the risk of serious issues.
Even with proper care, braces emergencies can sometimes occur. A bracket may become loose, or wire might bend or break. In the event of an emergency, it is important not to panic. As soon as you notice an issue, call the office to schedule an appointment. We will do our very best to get you in as soon as possible. If a loose bracket or bent wire is irritating your intraoral tissues, wax can be used to keep you comfortable until your appointment.
With proper care, your braces will be able to effectively correct the alignment of your teeth and jaws, improving your smile and your oral health. If you have any questions or concerns, call Sawrie Orthodontics at (423) 624-8217 today.