Posted on February 17, 2022

Often, people talk about braces “causing” cavities. This is simply not true. The buildup of unhealthy bacteria is what causes cavities. This means that your teeth and gums require more care than usual when you are wearing braces. Although it’s a more involved process, you won’t regret staying diligent with your oral hygiene.

No matter if you come to our Parker or Castle Rock, CO location, Dr. Struhs will detail the proper steps you need to take to ensure your teeth stay healthy.

In the meantime, here are his top tips for caring for your oral health while you have braces!

5 Tips for Caring for Your Teeth and Gums While Wearing Braces

The five main tips to remember when cleaning your teeth are:

Don’t Eat Hard or Sticky Foods

There are many foods to stay away from when you have braces, but hard and sticky foods are among the worst. Stay away from foods like:

  • Suckers
  • Caramel
  • Gum
  • Hard or uncooked fruits and vegetables

Have the Right Tools

As you can imagine, properly cleaning your mouth with braces requires more than a toothbrush and conventional floss.

Because of this, you will need to pick up the following tools to keep your braces and teeth clean.

Floss Threaders

You may have heard of these before. They do exactly what their name implies – help you thread floss between your teeth. These are very important because it’s one of the only ways to floss your gum line with braces. Neglecting your gum line can quickly lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Dental Picks

Standard, metal dental picks can damage your braces, teeth, and gums if used improperly. GUM® makes safe ones called Soft-Picks® that work great to remove food particles from braces. You can find these in almost any store with an oral hygiene section.

Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush will make your oral care routine less daunting. Plus, they work better than a manual toothbrush. You can also get separate heads with bristles specifically designed to clean braces.

Water Flosser

Water flossers shoot a stream of water at your teeth and braces to remove food particles and bacteria. This study found that the water flosser worked a little better than traditional floss in their trial. We believe that this is a major benefit to help keep cavity-causing bacteria from accumulating around the appliances. You can use one to remove large food particles and cleanse your teeth and braces. As a bonus, some brands allow you to put a 50/50 mixture of mouthwash and water in them.

Regular Visits to the Orthodontist

We understand that life happens, but making it to all your appointments is important. Missing them can put you behind schedule on your treatment. Rescheduling just two appointments can add weeks to the amount of time you spend wearing braces.

Additionally, it gives us a chance to make sure everything is going smoothly and no problems have developed. This is also the perfect time to ask any questions you may have or voice any concerns with treatment.

Have a Travel Kit

Plaque can begin to accumulate on your teeth just a couple of hours after brushing your teeth. Food particles and sugar left behind in your mouth after eating or drinking make this happen even faster. That is why you should always have a travel kit to clean your braces if you’re going to school, work, or anywhere else for more than four hours.

Don’t Rush Cleaning

After a long day, it’s easy to slack on properly cleaning your braces, but you won’t regret taking the extra time to do it right. The best way to stay on top of proper cleaning is to make it a routine.

The extra steps will add a few minutes to your existing at home hygiene routine, so time yourself a few times. Doing so will let you know how much time to set aside to clean your braces, gums, and teeth.

Braces in Parker and Castle Rock, CO

It may seem like a lot of work to keep your teeth and gums clean with braces, but your new cleaning routine will become second nature in no time. We have locations in Parker and Castle Rock, CO, so request your appointment today!

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