According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there are currently four million people wearing braces in the U.S, with approximately one million of them being over the age of 18. While braces are the go-to option for those looking to get a straighter, more aesthetically appealing smile, they can be quite an adjustment. But, with Dr. David Markham, you can rest assured that your teeth are in good hands. Dr. Markham, along with the rest of the Markham Orthodontics team have compiled a list of useful tips to help you keep your braces in the best shape possible. After all, the better you take care of your braces, the better the your results will be when treatment is complete.
Brush properly and brush often.
Although brushing your teeth is standard practice when it comes to having a successful dental care routine, doing so with braces requires a little more time and effort. Instead of brushing two or three times per day, you’ll need to brush every time after you eat, whether it’s a large meal or just a snack. It’s also advised that you use fluoride toothpaste and a brush with soft bristles. Keep in mind that you’ll need to brush every surface of each tooth, as well as in between the brackets, the roof of the mouth, the gumline, and the tongue. Because braces can cause a toothbrush to fray quickly, be sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as it starts to show signs of wear.
Floss, floss, floss.
Attempting to floss with braces can be a challenge. But, it’s an important part of your oral hygiene routine that shouldn’t be overlooked. Flossing can help remove any excess plaque or food particles that can still be stuck in between teeth even after brushing, reducing the likelihood of bacteria forming in your mouth. If regular floss isn’t doing the job, floss threaders can be helpful since they are reusable and allow you to easily reach underneath the wire and along the curve of the gumline. Avoid applying too much pressure on your teeth when flossing as you wouldn’t want to cause any damage to your braces!
Steer clear of certain foods.
Wearing braces doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods. But, certain dietary adjustments need to be made to ensure you have a smooth orthodontic treatment process. Avoid smoking, sugar-packed drinks, and eating anything sticky, crunchy, hard, or chewy. Foods with these types of textures can likely bend or break the wire in your braces or lead to tooth decay in hard-to-reach areas.
- Chewy foods–bagels, licorice, pizza crust, barbecue ribs, chicken wings
- Crunchy foods–popcorn, chips, ice, pretzels, lollipops, hard taco shells
- Sticky foods–caramel apples, Starburst, Skittles, chewing gum, gummy candies, fruit rollups, toffee, peanut brittle
- Hard foods–nuts, celery, hard candies, carrots, apples, corn on the cob, beef jerky
Make an appointment today!
Making sure your teeth stay clean, carving out time to floss, and managing your eating habits are simple, yet effective steps you can take to make sure you’ll have a camera-ready smile as soon as the braces come off. Ready to set your smile straight? Contact us at (916) 924-8970 or visit our Sacramento, CA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham. After all, obtaining a winning smile is a team effort.