Caring for Your Braces


a smiling patient with braces from Sawrie Orthodontics in Chattanooga, TN
It is no secret that caring for orthodontic appliances correctly can be challenging for patients of all ages. The time to learn how to do so is before you even have braces so that you can prepare yourself and your family for the extra time and precision it will take. For those who may be less than fastidious in their dental hygiene, this can be frustrating, but improper care can result in extensive and expensive damage.

Of course, Daniel Sawrie, DDS will provide you with extensive instructions tailored just for you that you will need to follow. Until then, here is a little information to get you started.

Dental Hygiene With Braces


The standard for dental hygiene without braces is quite simple. Brush twice a day for about two minutes. Floss once a day, preferably at night. Do not forget to use fluoride, and rinse with mouthwash after brushing. Simple, right? Dental hygiene with braces is much more complicated because you will have to clean in and around the appliance, making sure to remove any particles that are trapped because of the hardware. You are also going to have to start carrying floss, toothpaste and a toothbrush with you because you are going to need to clean your teeth after you eat every time.

If you do not follow the recommended guidelines, and are not careful than plaque biofilm colonies will grow and produce acid. Acid eats away at your teeth and gums and you can develop chalky white spots around the hardware of the braces. The good news is that damaging your teeth can be prevented with proper care.

Read more about Braces and Dental Hygiene.
Read more about Braces and the Need to See the Dentist

Tips for Proper Care


In addition to normal dental hygiene, here are a few extra tips to keep in mind:
1.  If you have elastic, remove the elastic before cleaning.
2.  If you have children make sure to supervise and guide them as they are learning the right techniques.
3.  Be gentle. If you are too forceful, it is possible to damage the appliance.
4.  Do not forget to brush all of the exposed surfaces of brackets and wires.
5.  While flossing use a floss threader so that you can accurately and thoroughly guide the floss under the wires and into the spaces between the teeth.
6.  Invest in interdental cleaners and an oral irrigation system to ensure that you are removing as much food bacteria as possible.
7.  Make sure to use fluoride, which is even more necessary with braces.
8.  If you play sports, makes sure to wear a mouth guard on the upper and lower arches.

Foods to Avoid


There is no way around the fact that if you have orthopedic appliances, there are going to be some foods that you will have to abstain from. These foods fall into three categories: sticky, hard and crunchy. Sticky food like gummy candy, peanut butter, and gum is easily trapped by the appliance hardware and is hard to clean. You will also want to avoid hard and crunchy food such as tough meat, hard raw vegetables, and ice, just to name a few. Hard and crunchy foods can damage your braces, and even crack your teeth.

If you are worried about eating the wrong thing, try not to be. Daniel Sawrie, DDS will provide you with a more detailed list of foods you should avoid. Make sure to follow it!

Read more about Protecting Your Braces.

If You Damage Your Braces


It is possible to damage your braces. You cannot fix your braces by yourself. If the braces snap or break, or if any of the hardware comes loose call us immediately at (423) 624-8217 to schedule an appointment.

Read more about Braces Emergencies.

Chattanooga

(423) 624-8217
1612 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 100
Chattanooga, TN 37421

Signal Mountain

(423) 624-8217
1229 Taft Highway
Signal Mountain, TN 37377
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