Everything You Should Know About Caring for Your Braces

Everything You Should Know About Caring for Your Braces

Are you one of the four million Americans currently wearing orthodontic braces? You’re on your way to a straighter smile and healthier teeth, but you probably know that having braces comes with some added responsibility too.

Your braces require special care to keep them in good condition and keep your teeth healthy. And as a board-certified orthodontist, Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, knows how to help patients get the most out of their braces.

In this blog, Dr. Touni and our team at Touni Orthodontics in Sunnyvale, California, share our most important tips for caring for your braces.

How to care for your braces

Although everyone has different needs, most people wear braces for 1-3 years. That means you need to learn how to take care of your braces and your teeth early on, so you can avoid complications like damaged braces, painful cavities, and post-braces stains.

Here’s what we recommend:

Brush your teeth regularly

Everyone should brush their teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Good oral hygiene is especially important when you have braces.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to brush carefully around the brackets and wires of your braces, using a back-and-forth motion to remove plaque and food debris. You may also want to use a small interdental brush or floss threader to clean between your teeth and around your braces.

Keep your braces clean

Whenever you clean your teeth, you also should clean your braces. Regularly cleaning the brackets and wires helps prevent the buildup of plaque and bacteria.

You can use a specialized orthodontic brush or a proxy brush to clean your brackets and wires, use a water flosser, and/or rinse thoroughly with mouthwash. If any parts of your braces are removable, Dr. Touni can show you how to remove them, clean them, and put them back in place.

Protect your braces (and teeth) from damage

If you play sports or participate in other activities that could potentially damage your braces, it's important to protect them with a mouth guard. You can purchase a mouth guard at a sporting goods store or ask our team about custom-made mouth guards.

Wearing your mouth guard every time you play reduces your risk of damaging your braces and suffering painful injuries, from cut lips to knocked-out teeth.

Avoid certain foods

Unfortunately, wearing braces often means changing your diet. Certain foods can damage your braces or make your teeth harder to clean.

We usually recommend you avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods, like hard candies, gummy bears, and corn on the cob. It's also a good idea to cut your food into small pieces and avoid biting into hard or crunchy foods with your front teeth.

See your orthodontist regularly

Along with at-home care, you need to see your orthodontist regularly when you have braces. We usually schedule appointments every 4-8 weeks, but your exact timeline may vary.

We examine your braces and your teeth at every appointment. Dr. Touni makes necessary adjustments to keep you on track. Regular orthodontic care is the best way to ensure that your braces are working properly.

By following these tips, you can do your part to maintain your braces and achieve the beautiful, straight smile you desire. Book your next appointment at Touni Orthodontics by calling our office or requesting an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Will TMJ Resolve on Its Own?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can make chewing and talking painful. Fortunately, TMJ pain goes away on its own most of the time. Find out how to speed recovery with at-home care, and when it’s time to see your doctor.

How Tooth Problems Can Affect Your Sinuses

Two of your largest sinuses sit right above your upper teeth. And if you have a toothache or impacted tooth, it could begin to affect your sinuses. Find out how your teeth and sinuses are connected and what to do when you’re in pain.

What Problems Can Tongue Thrusting Cause?

Tongue thrusting is a common oral disorder among children. It’s characterized by repetitive tongue pressure on the back of their teeth, and it can put your child’s development at risk. Find out more about the complications of tongue thrusting here.

What Can Correct My Child's Tongue Thrust?

Tongue thrust can cause bite abnormalities, uneven teeth, and difficulty talking and eating. It’s a common condition, but treatment is very effective — especially when it’s identified early. Learn the signs of tongue thrust and what to do about it.