How Can I Care for my Braces

Braces are a treatment for crooked teeth. They help to realign the teeth and can be done in a variety of styles, from metal braces to clear braces. Braces work by using a system of wires and brackets to hold your teeth in position. The process can take several months, but typically results in improved alignment and a decrease in tooth size or number. Many people find that wearing braces is an overall positive experience, and the benefits often outweigh the initial discomfort.

Some people who have braces may experience some pain during the initial weeks or months of wearing them. However, most people find that braces do not cause long-term pain or discomfort. There are many things that you can eat while wearing braces, as long as they are small enough not to cause damage to your braces.


How to Care For Your Braces


Having good oral hygiene is important, no matter whether you have braces or not, but when you do have braces, keeping up your oral health care can ensure that your teeth aren’t stained, stop you from getting bad breath and ensure your gums stay healthy.

While it may not always be possible to clean your teeth after a meal, you should rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to help remove any food particles and plaque build-up.

Brushing your teeth is important, but it becomes particularly important when you are wearing braces and undergoing orthodontic treatment. Braces make it much easier for food to get trapped, which can cause problems. It is recommended to use a toothbrush with a soft head to access hard-to-reach areas, whether that be a standard toothbrush or an electric toothbrush.


Should I Floss when Wearing Braces?


Flossing is a great way to remove those little food particles and plaque from between your teeth, but it’s not always easy to do when wearing braces – especially if flossing isn’t something you’ve got the hang of. You can use a floss threader which is designed to thread floss under braces or an interdental brush which can get into places that your regular toothbrush can’t.

Flossing does take a little to get used to, but remember not to apply too much pressure or to do it too quickly – you can damage your braces which means a trip to see your orthodontist again.


What Not To Eat When Wearing Braces


While there are plenty of things you can eat when you have braces on, there are also plenty of things you should stay away from eating due. You should look to minimise excessive snacking and aim for a healthy, balanced diet. The general “stay away from” foods include:

  • Chewy foods such as hard roll-ups and liquorice
  • Crunchy foods such as particular ice cubes or popcorn
  • Sticky foods such as caramels, mints and bubblegum
  • Hard food such as large nuts, boiled lollies, toffee and crunching on ice
  • Sugary drinks – soft drinks and sports drinks

Then there are foods that you should be aware of eating, and keep in mind that they may damage your braces or discolour them. These foods include:

  • Unground whole grains, hard-crusted bread, less processed loaves of bread
  • Hard cheeses
  • Meat from the bone – Lamb chops
  • Whole or chunky nuts and seeds
  • Coffee and tea can lead to temporary discolouration of the braces and teeth
  • Acidic foods & drinks – if you do consume these foods and drinks, it is best to have a glass of water to dilute the effects of the citric acid and brush your teeth no less than one hour later
  • Heavily spiced curries, packet noodles and cakes or any foods with food colouring – these can discolour the elastic modules used to hold the wire to your braces.

It is key to keep in mind that you should brush your teeth after eating to minimise any food particles being caught in your braces.

Do you need braces or need help with your braces? Our friendly orthodontic team can assist you with any questions you may have around getting braces or how to care for your braces. Contact us today.

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Dr Henry Wong is a local dental graduate, having done his studies at the University of Queensland. He has had over 10 years of practical experience, providing a wide range of services in the various fields of dentistry. He has a strong interest in Orthodontics (braces) and has an affinity treating young patients. Henry regularly attends a range of continuing education courses, and is very much up to date with his continuing professional development requirements.   Dr Henry is a long term member of the ADA (Australian Dental Association). He has also been involved with RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service), in a charity project that provides much needed dental treatment to villages in Nepal. He has also provided volunteer work in Brisbane through the National Dental Foundation.   Dr Henry enjoys spending time with his family and young daughter. They are often the reluctant subjects one of his other interests; photography. He likes to unwind by listening to comedy podcasts and tending to his growing collection of indoor plants.