Your oral hygiene is doubly important while you are wearing braces. Dr. Peterson will do everything he can give you a fantastic smile, and you also play an important part in this process. Keeping your teeth clean and continuing regular dental check-ups are vital to ensuring your smile turns out beautiful and healthy.
So how do you keep those teeth sparkling clean? First, let’s talk about our main enemy: plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that collects on your teeth if they are not properly brushed and flossed. Over time, plaque can cause cavities and problems with your gums. These problems include gapping gums, periodontitis, and even bone loss. Plaque can also discolor your teeth, causing them to turn yellow all around the bracket. This is not the kind of surprise you want when Dr. Peterson takes your braces off!
Cleaning your teeth can take a little more time than it did before braces, but it is so important! You should brush at least three times everyday. Often during meals, food can get stuck around your brackets and wires. This not only looks unattractive to your friends and family, but also can be damaging to your teeth. Brushing after every meal is an easy way to keep your teeth clean and free of debris that could turn into plaque. It’s a good idea to keep a travel toothbrush with you at all times so you can brush with a moment’s notice. Lucky for you, this is included in your new patient start kit you will receive when you start treatment at Peterson Family Orthodontics!
Flossing is also an important part of dental hygiene. Since brackets make it a little more difficult to get floss in between your teeth, your Queen Creek orthodontist has a few suggestions to keep those pearly whites…well, white! Also in your new patient start kit will be some helpful tools for flossing. First, floss threaders make it easier to thread floss in and out of wires. Simply put your floss through the threader just like a needle, and slip it underneath the wire to floss like normal. Your kit will also contain a small interproximal brush that is perfect for slipping between wires and into brackets to clean out any tougher areas. A water flosser can be very effective for patients with braces. These flossers shoot water at a high speed and can be helpful in forcing plaque out from between teeth and brackets. Dr. Peterson often has coupons available for these if you are interested in purchasing one.
Keeping your teeth clean is not your only job while wearing braces. There are also some rules about what kinds of foods you shouldn’t eat during your treatment. Especially hard, sticky, or chewy foods are not a good idea because they can cause brackets to break off of your teeth. One or two broken brackets during treatment are usually understandable, but excessive breakage can lead to teeth shifting like they shouldn’t and extended treatment times. If you break a bracket, call the office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Your Queen Creek orthodontist will replace the bracket and make sure the wire is situated correctly.
Sometimes the bracket stays on the tooth, but the colored rubber tie on the bracket falls off. You can try to put it back in place using sterile tweezers. If you are unable, it is important to call the office for this scenario as well.
If you experience pain from wires or brackets poking your cheeks, you can use some of the wax that comes in your new patient kit to cover the area of the braces and provide some relief. If the end of a wire is poking into your cheek, try using a Q-tip or the eraser end of a pencil to bend the wire closer to the tooth. If these solutions do not help, you can always call our office for help.
For a few days after each time you have your braces adjusted, you may have some discomfort as your teeth begin to move. Your Queen Creek orthodontist recommends taking whatever you typically use as pain relief. Try to eat soft foods and remember that the pain should subside within a few days.
Having braces should not prevent you from doing the activities you love, including playing an instrument or participating in sports. However, it is important to protect your mouth when participating in certain activities. If you play contact sports, talk to Dr. Peterson about obtaining an appropriate mouth guard to protect your teeth, mouth, and braces.
Getting braces on starts an exciting time of your life! With just a few alterations, you can live your life as usual while taking important steps to gaining your perfect smile and fulfilling your dreams!
Dream big. Smile on.