Caring For Your Braces

Tips For Taking Care Of Your Orthodontic Appliances

Exceptional care for your teeth during your orthodontic treatment is essential. Brushing regularly and properly will ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy and yield the best smile possible at the end of your orthodontic treatment. Dr. Zeifman and your family dentist—your treatment teammates—are relying on you to do your part!

When To Clean Your Braces

Good oral hygiene is essential during your orthodontic treatment to prevent gum disease, tooth decay and other dental issues. Having a healthy mouth helps make orthodontic treatment more efficient, as healthy teeth and gums tend to move easier. To all Zeifman Orthodontics patients, we recommend the following:

  • Brush often. Clean your braces, teeth and gums often. In addition to brushing your teeth in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to bed, plan to brush your teeth thoroughly after you eat a snack or a meal.

  • Carry a travel toothbrush. Consider traveling with a toothbrush and toothpaste when you might eat away from home. When brushing is not convenient, at least rinse your mouth well with water.

  • Don’t forget to floss. Make sure flossing is a regular part of your daily routine, too. Be sure to not only floss between the teeth and under the gum line, but underneath your archwires, as well.

Brushing and flossing properly will reduce the amount of plaque—a sticky colorless film—that commonly collects on teeth. Plaque is a destructive combination of food, bacteria, and saliva and, if trapped or not removed, leads to tartar, which will cause cavities, gum disease, bad breath and teeth stains. At Zeifman Orthodontics, to reduce the negative effects of plaque, we provide instruction to help ensure proper brushing and flossing for all of our patients wearing braces.

How To Properly Brush Your Teeth With Braces

Regularly brushing teeth well with braces is vital, and it is imperative that patients pay close attention to targeting the cracks and crevices not only between teeth, but also around brackets and wires. Follow these steps for proper brushing:

  • Use a soft, round-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush regularly, long before it begins to show signs of excessive wear.

  • Brush all surfaces of your teeth. Brush the front, back and sides of your teeth, as well as your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth gently yet thoroughly.

  • Rinse appropriately after brushing. Rinsing helps to remove food particles.

  • Inspect your teeth and braces carefully using a well-lighted mirror. If you find any issues at all, contact Zeifman Orthodontics. We will assess the situation and let you know if an appointment or repair is needed.

Eating With Braces

Another way to ensure you are properly caring for your braces is to be mindful of your diet during orthodontic treatment. Failure to do so may result in damage to your appliances, which can slow down your overall treatment time. There is a long list of foods you will still be able to enjoy and just a short list we recommend avoiding during your treatment.

Enjoy the following foods:

Pasta, rice, tortillas, bread, pancakes and waffles, muffins without nuts, etc.

Yogurt, soft cheese, cottage cheese, etc.

Bananas, applesauce, berries, etc.

Chicken, salmon, tuna, meatballs, lunch meats. Please note that meats should be cut into small pieces before eating.

Steamed green-leafy varieties, lettuce, mashed potatoes, beans, etc.

Cake and ice cream without nuts, Jell-O, milkshakes, etc.

Avoid the following foods:

Corn on the cob, apples, and chicken wings that might damage your braces when you bite into them

Gum and candy that might adhere to your braces

Popcorn, chips and nuts that might get lodged

Protecting Your Braces While Playing Sports

In addition to maintaining excellent oral hygiene and being mindful of your diet, it is important to protect your teeth and appliances while playing sports. The best way to ensure you are caring for your braces and protecting your smile is to wear a mouthguard when participating in sports. For best results, choose a mouthguard that you can customize to your smile for a better fit. If you have any questions about mouthguards or are looking for recommendations, contact our office.

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Total Smile Care

For The Whole Family

At Zeifman Orthodontics, we believe that people of all ages deserve the best and most comprehensive orthodontic care. We are dedicated to helping each patient achieve their dream smile in a way that fits their budget and lifestyle.