The Do’s And Don’ts Of Braces
Do’s And Don’ts Of Braces (from www.ada.org)
• Keep your teeth clean when wearing braces. Brushing and flossing remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. If plaque is not removed regularly it could lead to tooth decay or gum disease.
• Replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. Worn toothbrushes won’t clean teeth properly.
• Go to all of your orthodontic appointments. If you delay any adjustments, your treatment will just take longer.
• Keep visiting your regular dentist for cleanings and exams. Your dentist checks your teeth for loss of minerals in the enamel (called demineralization) and decay. He or she also looks for gum disease and changes in the oral tissues.
After Orthodontic Treatment
• Eat foods that could get stuck in your braces or bend the wires. These foods include nuts, corn on the cob, popcorn, hard candy, ice, and sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel, or other chewy candy. Ask your dentist about which foods to avoid.
• Eat too many sugary foods. This can lead to tooth decay around the brackets that could permanently stain or damage your teeth.
• Play sports and active games without wearing a mouthguard. A guard can protect your mouth and jaw from getting hurt. Your dentist can suggest a proper mouthguard to wear with your braces.
Before-and-after photos courtesy of Dr. Grant Bowbeer.
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