Caring For Your Braces And Your Teeth During Your Orthodontic Treatment

If you suffer from crooked teeth or an irregular bite, your dentist may recommend braces. Traditional braces have been used for years to straighten the teeth and correct bite issues.

The braces include brackets that are bonded to the teeth and an archwire that attaches to the brackets using elastic bands. During your treatment with braces, the orthodontist periodically adjusts the archwire to progressively straighten the teeth.

Your treatment with braces may be complete within a couple of years. However, the duration of your treatment process is largely dependent on the severity of your dental misalignment.

Traditional braces may be used for adult and pediatric patients. However, many adults may choose to pair traditional metal brackets with ceramic brackets to increase the discretion of their treatment. Since ceramic brackets may be more expensive than their metal counterparts, the orthodontist may offer the option of using ceramic brackets on the teeth that are easily visible in the mouth, while still treating the back teeth with brackets made of metal.

Regardless of the bracket type that is used for your traditional braces,you should be sure to observe certain precautions to protect your teeth and your appliance during your treatment. Here are a few measures that you can take to help keep your teeth and braces in great shape throughout your orthodontic correction.

Remove Your Bands Before Brushing

Brushing your teeth properly can help protect them from decay while you wear your braces. However, it is important to remove your elastic ligatures before you brush. If you brush with the bands in place, the mechanical action of the brush may tug on the archwire and brackets, causing damage that your orthodontist may have to correct.

Clean the Braces

Your braces cannot decay, but they can harbor plaque and bacteria that may lead to gum disease and dental cavities. As you brush your bracket-covered teeth, apply the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees to clean around the brackets and wires. Be sure to work slowly and carefully to ensure that all plaque and food particles are properly removed.

Floss Daily

Daily flossing is essential to the health of your teeth, since the bristles of a toothbrush may not sufficiently reach interdental spaces. While your braces are in place, special flossing tools, such as floss threaders, may be required to navigate the floss around your appliance. If you are uncomfortable using string floss, an oral irrigator may be used to flush plaque and debris from the mouth with a concentrated stream of water. 

To learn more ways to care for your teeth properly during your orthodontic treatment, schedule a consultation with an orthodontist in your local area.