Maintaining proper oral hygiene when you have braces is a must. First, getting braces is a very expensive procedure so you should do all you can to take care of them properly, and besides that, braces can leave your teeth susceptible to bacteria and plaque accumulation which can add more problems like cavities and gingivitis.
When you got your braces done it is almost certain your dentist gave you a set of instructions to follow. Failure to do so will put the whole process at peril.
If it so happens you didn't pay much attention to what he or she was saying, or you just aren't sure whether or not you're doing the right things, use this list to confirm if you have been taking proper care of your braces and some of the areas you need to work on.
Use the recommended toothpaste
Already, you should know that you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day. With braces the buildup occurs faster and you have to ensure that you're doing your best to keep all that away.
One important thing you need to remember is choosing the right toothpaste. There isn't necessarily a specific brand that you should use, but you should probably take a break from homemade toothpastes and whitening brands that could damage your braces.
Get the right toothbrush
The type of toothbrush you choose also matters. A hard toothbrush might look like a great option to handle buildup but actually, those types of brushes can do a lot of damage to your braces, gums and teeth.
The best one for you would be a soft brush. It will clean your teeth properly without any damage, and all you need to learn is the right brushing technique.
To get an even better clean, you can try a soft electric toothbrush and a proxabrush which can reach those hidden areas.
Floss with the right technique
Flossing every day with braces can be a very tedious process. There are so many areas that you need to reach and although it's exhausting, it is absolutely necessary.
As you floss, you need to ensure you're being gentle and that you're using the right technique. Also, remember that you also shouldn't rush through the process.
If you're struggling, you can consult your dentist on some tools that can help you get the job done more efficiently like threaders.
Eat braces-friendly foods
You should also be careful when it comes to your choice of foods. Some that are known to give you a headache when you have braces are chewy and sticky foods because those can be hard to remove.
The type that you need to be careful with most are hard and crunchy foods like apples and nuts. These can cause damage so if you want to enjoy some of them, cut them into smaller pieces first.
Always be gentle
The last thing you need to be cautious about is playing with your braces. Let us face it, some of us have the habit of chewing pencils, pens and our nails subconsciously which is something you need to avoid.
Also, do not pull on the wires, hooks, bands or any other part of your braces. They are quite fragile and replacing those parts can be hectic for your wallet if you're not carful.