Taking care of your braces will benefit you in more ways than one!
Food to AVOID with braces
- Chewy Foods – bagels, licorice
- Crunchy Foods – popcorns, chips, ice
- Sticky Foods – caramel, toffee, bubble gum
- Hard Foods – nuts, hard candies, ie. get in the habit of cutting meats off the bone or corn off the cob
We can only make your teeth straighter and your smile brighter if the braces stay on your teeth. Being careful with what you eat will help ensure your treatment finishes on time. Your teeth and jaws can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, appliances, or retainers as prescribed by Drs. Ng or Tran!
Loose Wires and Bands
The wires, brackets and/or bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check your appliances and alleviate your discomfort. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
We may repair the broken braces right away or elect to repair them at your next scheduled appointment.
When you have braces it’s very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.
Teeth move faster and more efficiently when your teeth and gums are healthy! Braces can be detrimental in patients who have gum disease. The beginning signs of gum disease often include red, swollen, puffy gums.
If plaque and food debris are left on your teeth (especially near the gumline), not only will gum disease occur, but permanent white spots or scarring of the teeth become evident, also known as decalcification. If the white spots are minor, they will likely get better over time. If the white spots or scarring is severe, restorative treatment by your general dentist may be necessary following the braces. In severe cases, the white spots or scars turn into cavities which may cause sensitivity of the teeth and require immediate attention by your dentist.
Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
Floss holders and threaders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.
Playing Sports with Braces
You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play any contact sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away.