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Even though our braces will eventually give us a straight, beautiful smile, It’s hard to love them. From not being able to chew gum to getting food stuck in the metal, braces are more of an annoyance, if anything. Still, braces are a big investment, so you should take care of them.
Proper oral hygiene is necessary to ensure your treatment stays on track. If you don’t improve dental hygiene, your smile will be discolored and covered in plaque once your braces come off.
Consider Getting Invisible Braces
One consistent way to improve the look of your smile is swapping out your braces with invisible braces for adults. Not only will you be able to take your invisible braces out, which will make your teeth easier to floss and brush, but they aren’t noticeable when worn, even close-up.
Invisible braces don’t need to be tightened, but they will need to be changed every two to three weeks. Most people can straighten their teeth in 6-12 months with clear aligner treatment.
6 Tips for Proper Hygiene While Wearing Braces
If you’re stuck with braces, you might as well make the best of it by protecting your smile. Here are 6 tips you can use to prevent gum disease and cavities while you have braces.
1. Replace Your Toothbrush Frequently
The average person should swap out their old toothbrush for a new one every three to four months. This ensures that the bristles are still good enough to remove plaque and prevent bacteria accumulation. At the same time, you don’t want your bristles to become a live biome.
Braces will shred the bristles on your toothbrush much faster, so replace it every one-two months. Opt for a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush to protect the wires on your braces.
2. Don’t Floss Too Hard
Don’t be rough with your gums when you have braces. They’re likely already irritated from the constant pulling and need a break. When flossing, gently work the floss up and down. Never jam it in, as it will inflame your gums, which could cause bleeding or a serious infection.
3. Thoroughly Clean Your Braces Daily
It’s hard not to get lazy with your flossing and brushing, but stay motivated while your braces are still on. While you only need to floss once a day, dentists recommend flossing every time you brush when you have braces. Use an interdental brush to get rid of large food particles.
It’s important to be meticulous when you floss because food often gets stuck around the bracket and archwire. If you miss any spots, you could cause a cavity to form in your teeth.
4. Fluoride Can Improve Your Hygiene
A bit of tooth decay is common when you wear braces, but you don’t want it to get out of control. Fluoride, which is found in city water supply and toothpaste, can prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and sugars. It also reverses early decay.
5. Eat Healthier Foods
You should eat more of certain foods to strengthen your teeth. For example, rinsing your mouth out with black tea can prevent plaque build-up, while cranberries contain polyphenols, which are good for your teeth. A box of raisins a day can actually keep cavities away!
You’ll also want to eat leafy greens because they contain a lot of folic acid and calcium. Both of the nutrients can keep your teeth healthier and strong. Plus, they’re good for the heart.
6. Avoid Eating High-Acid Foods
Pineapples, tomatoes, salsa, and soft drinks have a high-acid content that erodes your tooth enamel. Mangoes, bananas, cucumbers, and carrots don’t contain a lot of acids and are healthy to boot. Avoid eating anything crunchy or sticky, as they can damage your braces significantly.