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Maintenance for Braces

Published on October 24th, 2017

Braces Bloomingdale, West Loop, ChicagoIf you’ve made the decision to get braces, congratulations! But now it’s essential to be meticulous with the care and cleaning of your braces to ensure that your treatment progresses smoothly. Taking good care of your braces can also help prevent damage to the braces themselves and the teeth underneath while making them more comfortable to wear. Learning the basics of proper maintenance will help you follow our recommendations and keep your teeth and gums healthy during your treatment.

Brushing and Flossing

Careful cleaning is vital with braces as they have countless tiny spaces where they can trap food. This trapped food can lead to plaque which can cause other dental problems such as decay. To avoid these issues, regular brushing and flossing are more important than ever.

Brushing – Concentrate on the area between the braces and the gums as this is where plaque builds up causing bleeding and decay, if not removed. Place your brush horizontally and brush above and below the braces, angling the bristles up and down to get under the wires. We recommend brushing after every meal, even if that means taking your toothbrush to work or school.

Flossing – You should floss your teeth at least once a day, and twice would be better. Feed the short end of the floss through the space between the arch wire (the wire running from tooth-to-tooth) and the upper part of the tooth closest to the gum. Use a gentle sawing motion to clean the sides of the two teeth that the floss is between. Be careful not to push too hard around the arch wire.

Foods to Avoid

While wearing braces, you can still eat most foods if you cut them into small pieces that can be easily chewed. However, certain foods can break or loosen braces and should be avoided. These include:

  • Hard or tough-to-bite foods like apples or bagels
  • Chewy food such as taffy or caramel
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard pretzels, popcorn and nuts

Regular Dental Checkups

Finally and importantly, you’ll need to visit our offices regularly for adjustment to your appliances. After an adjustment you may feel some tightness or slight pain. If this doesn’t go away quickly, schedule a follow-up appointment. And any problem with broken parts should be brought to our attention immediately.

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