Taking Care of your Braces
Many emergencies can be reduced by simply avoiding certain foods. In general, the list of foods to watch for are listed below.
bagels, hard rolls, pizza crust – anything you have to pull at while biting
All chips that end with “O” like Doritos, Tostidos, Cheeto’s, hard nuts, hard candies, ice, thick kettle style potato chips, and so on.
Milk Duds, Laffy Taffy, caramels, Skittles, Starburst, gum.
BAGELS, pizza crust, corn on the cob, apples, carrots, or anything that you sink your teeth into that is not soft.
Chewing on pens, pencils, biting your nails, or chewing on clothes can also damage or loosen braces.
The single most important factor for orthodontic treatment is GOOD oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing take a little more time when braces are attached to the teeth, so here are some videos to demonstrate how to brush and floss:
Brush between the braces and gums. Plaque accumulates where your toothbrush does not reach. It is super important to remember to brush between the braces and the gums! A simple way to remember is to “brush high up top, and low on the bottom.”
Most kids these days think of a dance when you mention the word “Floss.” Flossing is more complicated and takes longer in braces. This is why many patients DON’T floss! To make things easier, here is what we suggest:
Waterpiks are wonderful for cleaning between the teeth and along the gumline. They can can flush debris from under appliances and are useful to prevent emergencies involving swelling of the gums. We offer the Waterpik Cordless Advanced Professional Series Waterpik in our office.
A Little Assistance to Convince Your Teen...
Sodas such as Mountain Dew, iced tea, and “energy drinks” contain a lot of liquid sugar. Liquid sugar is immediately taken up by plaque and converted into acid. Acid causes tooth decay. This video shows what CAN happen with poor hygiene and a sugary diet:
This much decay is highly unusual. We remove braces if we see a decline in hygiene, especially if cavities develop. That’s why we check hygiene at every appointment, and reinforce proper brushing and flossing / waterpik use.