Do you have braces? Are you thinking of getting braces either for yourself or one of your children? Although your dentist may have already given you information on how to care for the new braces, it can be easy to lose or forget that information. Keep your braces in good condition with these tips:
Brush your teeth extra carefully: Even if you were vigilant about brushing before, now that you have braces you'll need to brush even more thoroughly. Most dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day, but you may find that brushing three times a day is better at removing food particles that have stuck between the braces and your teeth. Remember that the addition of braces has added even more crevices for germs that cause plaque and tooth decay to hide.
Avoid hard foods: Foods that are hard can shatter into small pieces when chewed. These small pieces can work themselves between your braces and your teeth, potentially loosening the braces from your teeth. While you should discuss specific foods with your dentist, it's a good idea to at least start out by avoiding things like taco shells, apples and chips. If you're prone to chewing on them, hard candies like lollipops or peppermint sticks should also be avoided.
Avoid stringy foods: Potentially stringy foods such as pork, beef and chicken should be avoided, unless cut into very small pieces. Just like with the hard foods, these stringy bits can get stuck in your braces. In trying to work these bits out, you may accidentally pull your braces partly off your teeth.
Avoid staining drinks: Talk to your dentist about what sort of drinks that they recommend you avoid. Drinks like coffee, tea and colored soda or juice are usually on the list of things to avoid. Regular consumption of these types of beverages while you're wearing braces can make your teeth a shade or two darker, while leaving the tooth color underneath the braces attachment untouched. As a result, you could end up with odd-looking two-toned teeth once your braces have been removed.
Eat soft foods: For the first two or three days after you get your braces added and for two or three days after every tightening, your mouth may end up feeling very sore. Eating normal foods may feel like a chore as a result, so feel free to eat soft or semi-liquid foods like applesauce, pudding and milkshakes. Because these things can be quite high in sugars, make sure to brush your teeth every time you eat them.
Talk to a dental office like Arrowhead Family Dentistry for more information about caring for braces.