How to Care for Your Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment

Undergoing orthodontic treatment can be an exciting and transformative experience, but it also requires additional care and attention to maintain good oral health. Whether you’re wearing braces, clear aligners, or any other orthodontic appliance, following proper dental care practices is essential. In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable tips and guidelines on how to care for your teeth effectively during orthodontic treatment.

Brushing is Key:

Brushing your teeth is crucial for maintaining oral hygiene, and it becomes even more important when you have braces or other orthodontic appliances. Aim to brush your teeth after every meal or at least three times a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Take your time to ensure that you thoroughly clean around the brackets, wires, and other components of your orthodontic appliance. Pay attention to each tooth’s front, back, and chewing surfaces.

Master the Technique:

Proper brushing technique is essential for removing plaque and food particles effectively. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use small, circular motions. Clean each tooth individually and gently brush along the gumline. Be thorough but gentle to avoid damaging your braces. Consider using an interdental brush or an electric toothbrush with a small head for better access and efficiency.

Flossing is a Must:

Flossing can be challenging with braces, but it’s vital to remove plaque and food debris from between your teeth and around your braces. Regular flossing helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Use floss threaders, orthodontic floss, or specialized floss designed for braces to navigate between wires and brackets. Take your time and be patient as you work the floss carefully around each tooth.

Choose Braces-Friendly Foods:

During orthodontic treatment, it’s essential to choose foods that won’t damage your braces or get stuck between the wires and brackets. Avoid sticky, chewy, or hard foods that can cause brackets to loosen or wires to bend. Steer clear of items like caramel, gum, taffy, hard candies, popcorn, nuts, and ice. Opt for softer alternatives such as cooked vegetables, lean meats, pasta, yogurt, and soft fruits. Cutting larger, harder foods into smaller, bite-sized pieces can also help prevent damage.

Use Orthodontic Wax:

Orthodontic wax is a handy tool to alleviate any discomfort or irritation caused by braces. If a bracket or wire is rubbing against your gums, lips, or cheeks, simply apply a small amount of wax to the problematic area. The wax provides a protective barrier and allows the sensitive tissues to heal. Consult your orthodontist for guidance on how to use orthodontic wax effectively.

Stay Hydrated and Limit Sugary Drinks:

Drinking plenty of water helps maintain good oral health and keeps your mouth hydrated. Water helps flush away food particles and bacteria, reducing the risk of tooth decay and bad breath. Additionally, try to limit your consumption of sugary and acidic beverages like soda, sports drinks, and fruit juices. These can contribute to tooth decay and enamel erosion. If you do indulge in them occasionally, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.

Attend Regular Check-ups:

Regular visits to your orthodontist and dentist are crucial throughout your orthodontic treatment. Schedule and attend all recommended appointments to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned and to address any concerns or issues promptly. Your orthodontist and dentist will work together to monitor your progress, make necessary adjustments, and maintain your oral health.

In Conclusion:

Proper dental care is essential during orthodontic treatment to ensure a healthy and successful outcome. By following these tips, you can maintain optimal oral hygiene and protect your teeth while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances.

Dr. Snehlata Kulhari

Dr. Snehlata Kulhari completed her Bachelors of Dental Surgery (BDS) at Government Dental College in Punjab, India and her Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree at the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in Boston. She has been practicing dentistry since 2011 and has founded Smile Mantra Family Dentistry to provide dental care and education to the community of Cary, NC. Dr. Kulhari stays up to date on the latest dental research and advancements in order to offer her patients exceptional dental care. 


More From Our Blog