Oral Hygiene and Your New Braces

If you’ve recently started wearing orthodontic braces, you’re likely going through a bit of an adjustment period. From sensitive teeth to bad breath, braces can cause a host of oral hygiene issues if you’re unprepared. With over 4 million people in the United States wearing braces at any given time, it’s important to know how to care for your teeth, how to adjust your current habits and how to get the most out of your orthodontic treatment. In this post, we’re going to look at five tips that will help you adjust to your new braces.

1. Avoid problem foods

Gum, nuts, caramel, popcorn, soft drinks, beef jerky and apples – among others – can all cause damage to orthodontic appliances. Any food that is sticky, hard or chewy should be avoided not only to ensure that you don't damage your braces but to avoid trapped foods from causing cavities.

2. Brush after every meal

As braces make your teeth more difficult to clean, it’s important to adjust your normal oral hygiene habits. By brushing after every meal you keep troublesome foods from accumulating in the crevices of your braces and, as a result, reduce the buildup of harmful plaque.

3. Use an interdental brush

As we mentioned, braces make cleaning more difficult. With all the nooks and crannies capable of hiding food particles, you’ll need to rethink your approach to brushing. An interdental brush can help you get food that is trapped between your braces, beneath the wires and in those hidden, difficult areas.

4. Take advantage of water jet cleaning

Just like an interdental brush, a water jet is an amazing tool for cleaning those hard to reach spots that braces create. By shooting a pulsing stream of water, the water jet dislodges trapped food particles and ensures that your teeth stay healthy.

5. Use an antiseptic dental rinse

Just like brushing, we recommend using an antiseptic dental rinse after every meal. This prevents minor gum inflammation and irritation that may be caused by your orthodontic appliances. Furthermore, dental rinses prevent tooth decay by killing harmful bacteria that have accumulated in your mouth throughout the day.

At Michigan Orthodontic Specialists, Dr. James L. Souers has been a Kalamazoo Michigan Orthodontist for over 25 years. Knowledgeable about all of the latest developments in orthodontic treatment, Dr. Souers can help you get the most out of your braces. Whether you’ve had them for years or are investigating the possibility of a new pair of braces, contact us today to learn how we can assist you in the adjustment process.