Caring for Your Braces
Don’t worry, we fill our Denver braces patients in on exactly how to take care of their appliances and smiles during treatment. The truth is, braces won’t have a huge impact on your daily life and with a few small tweaks and excellent oral hygiene, you can ensure your treatment is a huge success.
Eating With Braces
While there are some foods to avoid with braces, because they can damage your appliance, you can continue to eat most of the things you love during treatment. Be sure to cut or break foods into bite size pieces and chew with your back teeth.
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, sandwich bread, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, soft-cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — soft-cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Other protein – tofu, soft-cooked lentils, tempeh
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice, beef jerky
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob (corn off the cob is fine), apples, carrots
Brushing and Flossing With Braces
When you have braces, the brackets and wires can trap food and plaque, so it’s super important to diligently brush and floss in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you need help choosing the best toothbrush, toothpaste or dental floss for braces, please ask one of our team members. We’ll be more than happy to help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.
How to Floss With Braces
Floss at least once daily, though flossing after every meal will prevent food from getting stuck in your braces. To floss with braces, use waxed dental floss and a floss threader or a special orthodontic floss like Super Floss. Guide the pointed end of your floss threader or the stiffened end of your Super Floss behind your braces wire.
Once the floss is positioned between two teeth, wrap the ends of the floss around the pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taut floss between them. Gently slide the floss up and down the side of one tooth, getting beneath the gum line, and then up and down the side of the other tooth, again flossing under the gum line to remove food debris and plaque. Repeat the process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth.
If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about using a water flosser!
How to Brush Your Teeth With Braces
Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a battery-powered or electric toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness.
Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.
Playing Sports With Braces
We have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let Dr. Cronin or Dr. Czarnik know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for braces.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and braces for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax to any parts of your braces that are irritating you or by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t panic! This is normal. Your braces have to loosen your teeth first in order to move them into their ideal places. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they’ll no longer be loose.
Follow Dr. Cronin and Dr. Czarnik’s Instructions
Be sure to take care of all of your appliances since damaged appliances can increase the length of your braces treatment. Additionally, your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear your braces rubber bands, retainers or other appliances as prescribed. If you have any questions about caring for your braces or wearing any additional appliances, please give us a call or ask us at your next appointment.
Confident Smiles Start With Expert Care
Don’t let your smile insecurities hold you back! As a top orthodontist in Westminster, CO, we have the knowledge and expertise to achieve fantastic results for patients of all ages. Whether you have slightly crooked teeth, severe orthodontic concerns or anything in between, our doctors will tailor treatment to your unique needs. To get started, schedule a complimentary consultation today!