While you will have to make some small tweaks in your day-to-day life when you have braces, we promise, the changes will be minor and well worth it when you see your new smile. Here are some guidelines for living life with braces and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our San Diego or Rancho Santa Fe orthodontics office. We’ll be more than happy to help!
Brushing and Flossing With Braces
You’ll want to pay special attention to your oral hygiene when you have braces because the brackets and wires give food debris and plaque more places to hide. Keeping your smile sparkling clean will help you prevent tooth decay, gum disease and stains. Plus, teeth move more efficiently in a healthy mouth. Here are some key tips for brushing and flossing with braces:
- Brush your teeth in the morning, after meals and snacks, and before bed. If you forget your toothbrush when you’re out and about, rinse your mouth out really well after eating and brush when you get home.
- Squeeze a ribbon of non-whitening, fluoride toothpaste onto your toothbrush and then use small, circular motions to brush along your gum line and around your braces. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth and around your back molars. Give each tooth a little individual attention.
- You may also want to use a proxy brush to clean the tight spaces between your braces.
- Floss once daily to kick plaque and food particles to the curb. To make things easier, we recommend using an orthodontic flosser or a floss threader. One you get under your wire and in between any two teeth, floss up and down the side of one tooth, all the way to the gum line, and then up and down the side of the other tooth before moving on to the next set of teeth.
- For some extra cavity protection (and awesome breath!), rinse with fluoride mouthwash twice a day for 60 seconds.
- Keep on visiting your general dentist for cleanings and check-ups throughout your orthodontic treatment.
What to Eat With Braces
Your teeth and gums can be a little bit sensitive when you first get your braces put on and after adjustments. Sticking with soft or cold foods and cold drinks can be helpful until you feel ready to tackle your usual diet. Things like mashed potatoes, smoothies, milkshakes, applesauce, ripe bananas, yogurt, soup and pasta are all great options.
While you can still eat most of the foods you love, there are some foods to avoid with braces because they can either damage your appliance or get stuck and cause inflammation. Stay away from the following;
- Really hard foods like nuts, pizza crust and hard candy
- Really sticky foods, including caramels and gummy candies
- Crunchy foods, such as popcorn and chips
- Chewy foods like licorice and hard rolls
- Foods you bite directly into like corn on the cob or whole, raw apples (take corn off the cob and cut apples into tiny, bite-sized pieces)
- Chewing on hard things (we’re looking at you, ice cubes and pens!)
Sports and Braces
Hey, Dr. Melanie runs marathons and practices jiu jitsu! As an athlete herself, she’d never ask her patients to sit on the sidelines just because they have braces. However, if you do play sports, let us know. It’s recommended that people with braces wear a protective mouthguard during contact sports. A mouthguard will keep your appliance and teeth safe and prevent injury to the soft tissues of your mouth. Dr. Melanie will help you choose the best type of mouthguard for your needs. If you do experience trauma to your face and your braces are damaged, give us a call and we’ll get you in for an appointment right away.
Book A Free Consultation
Ready to get a sweet new smile with Rancho Santa Fe or San Diego Invisalign or braces treatment? Schedule your complimentary smile assessment today!