Taking care of braces properly is an important part of orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic braces contain many parts and should be protected from damage to ensure ideal results. It is essential to adhere to the instructions provided by your orthodontist to ensure excellent at-home care.
Foods to Avoid and Limit
Stick to softer foods for the first few days following the placement of braces to optimize comfort. Throughout the course of treatment, there are types of foods that should be avoided entirely. These foods can snap archwires, displace orthodontic bands and loosen brackets. Your orthodontist will offer a complete list of foods to steer clear of, but here are some general examples:
Hard/Crunchy Foods – Ice cubes, popcorn kernels, and potato chips
Sticky/Chewy Foods – Taffy, tootsie rolls, gum, bagels, jerky and caramel
Sugary Foods – Candy, jam, jelly, chocolate, breath mints and soda (can be enjoyed in moderation)
On The Bone Foods – Chicken wings, barbecue ribs and corn on the cob (please remove from bone or cob to enjoy!)
Cleaning Around Braces
Orthodontic braces create spots where oral bacteria can stick and promote tooth decay. It is crucial to brush your teeth after every meal or snack to rid the teeth of debris and plaque. Flossing is also an essential part of everyday braces care. All sides of each tooth should be carefully cleaned twice a day. Your orthodontist will be able to provide advice on home hygiene techniques with braces.
Preventing Damage During Athletics
Sports are one of the major causes of dislodged and broken orthodontic appliances. Special mouth guards that protect braces should be worn every time a sport is played. Though contact sports, such as football, put orthodontic patients at higher risk for injury, players of non-contact sports like tennis are also susceptible to lip lacerations and snapped archwires.
Braces can be rendered ineffective when bands and brackets become loose and archwires break. An appointment should be made with your orthodontist as promptly as possible so appliances can be fixed for maximum function. A broken orthodontic appliance prolongs total treatment time when not corrected.
Commitment to Best Results
Braces require a significant commitment from the wearer to work effectively. It is essential to attend scheduled orthodontic adjustment appointments and follow instructions diligently.
If you have any questions or concerns about orthodontic care, please contact our office.
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