According to the Academy of General Dentistry, when one has braces on teeth, those teeth need extra attention to protect them from decay, staining and gum disease. One should also take precautions to avoid damaging the braces. For example, one must avoid eating chewy or sticky foods including sweets, eating hard and crunchy foods such as raw vegetables. It is also advised to avoid breathing excessively through the mouth or pushing the tongue against the teeth.
While brushing at least twice a day is the standard recommendation by the American Dental Association, one should ideally brush after every meal while wearing braces. That also includes after every mid-afternoon trip to the snack machine or any late night munchies one may consume while bingeing on Netflix. One needs to brush so frequently due to how easily food can become trapped in the braces, and the longer those particles stay stuck, the greater the risk of developing dental problems becomes.
Start by rinsing the mouth with water to loosen any food particles trapped in or around the braces. It’s necessary to brush each tooth at the gum line and both above and below the brackets. Brush the gum line first, holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Next, clean each bracket individually by brushing at a downward angle on top of the brackets and brushing at an upward angle from the bottom of the brackets. Finally, rinse again once finished.
• Follow the dietary guidelines
These are not just arbitrary rules—they are rules specifically designed to protect the braces and to protect the teeth, especially in the early days of the treatment, when the teeth are sore. Avoid any hard, crunchy foods, as they will only exacerbate the pain in the teeth by putting more pressure on them. For the first couple of days or weeks, until the soreness has subsided, stick to soft and/or liquid foods like pudding, yogurt, and soup.
• Cut out the soda
Again, this will be part of the dietary guidelines that an orthodontist has given his patient. However, we’d just like to emphasize it again. The metal that the braces is made out of is probably titanium or possibly stainless steel, both of which are very good for the mouth. These are the same metals that are used to make dental implants, because they mesh well with the body’s natural biology. However, even the best metal in the world cannot protect the mouth from the damaging and very sticky sugars that soda contains. Sugary drinks are just plain bad for health, but they are especially bad for teeth while wearing braces.
Avoid sticky food and candies
When one wears braces, they need to be more aware of what they eat. The main reason for plaque buildup around the brackets is consumption of sugary and starchy foods. This can also lead to cavities, staining of teeth as well as gum diseases. One should especially avoid sticky and chewy foods, such as dried fruits, caramel, toffy, corn on the cob and chewing gum, all of which can become stuck and hard to remove from braces. As mentioned earlier hard foods must be avoided including ice, nuts, popcorn or beef jerky as it may loosen the brackets or break the wires. To eat healthy yet crunchy foods like apples and carrots, cut them into small bite-size pieces so that it’s easy to chewy.