Good oral hygiene is essential to achieving a good orthodontic result. Food collects easily around the brackets and wires, so brushing after every meal and flossing at least once a day is important. It helps to decrease the chance of teeth enamel decalcification and permanently marking your teeth and also keeps your gums in a healthy state. You have been given a care package with all the necessary tools, a power toothbrush and have been shown the proper techniques to ensure good oral hygiene. We will be monitoring your hygiene at your ortho appointments to help you maintain a healthy smile.
Insert the floss behind the wire by using the floss threader or superfloss. Gently clean the sides of the teeth and under the gums with an up and down motion. Remember to floss at least once a day!
Brush after meals to ensure no food is trapped inside the braces. Brush under, above, behind and all around the braces and teeth. Brush inside and outside, top and bottom. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing and throughout the day, especially if you are unable to brush after a meal. We recommend using your power toothbrush at home and taking your manual toothbrush with you throughout the day, when you are not at home.
The movement of teeth can result in soreness, it is recommended to take ibuprofen (Advil) for the first two or three days after braces or an adjustment. You may also prefer to take some prior to your appointment to get ahead of any discomfort. Everyone has different pain levels, so some patients may be more sensitive than others.
It is possible for mouth sores to develop as your cheeks adjust to the braces. Your care package also contains wax that can relieve the soreness by covering the bracket. You should remember to remove the wax before eating and replace it after eating, if necessary. Rinsing with warm salt water can also help sores to heal quickly. (1 tsp. salt dissolved in a glass of warm water)
Eating with braces is different! If your teeth are sore, start with eating softer foods such as yogurt, pudding, rice, mashed potatoes, applesauce, bananas, spaghetti, eggs, soup, softer meats and cooked vegetables.
Even when your teeth are not sore, it is important to avoid hard foods or biting into hard foods as they can loosen or break brackets. It is also important to avoid sticky foods that can pull off brackets or sugary foods that can cause decay.
We have listed some common examples to avoid:
HARD FOODS TO AVOID
Apples, carrots, corn on the cob, nuts, popcorn, hard candies, pizza crusts, ice, chips, hard pretzels and hard cookies.
**Please note that most hard foods CAN be eaten as long as they have been cut up into small pieces and chewed on the back molar teeth. Remember never to bite into hard foods with your front teeth.
SUGARY/STICKY FOODS TO AVOID
Gum, caramels, toffee, licorice, gummy bears, caramel apples, tootsie rolls, and dried fruits. Also avoid soda pop and sugary drinks.
We also advise not chewing on fingernails, pens, pencils, or opening bottle caps to avoid damaging your braces.
*Remember to continue with your regular dental cleanings and checkups throughout your treatment.
Sports and other activities
If mouth guards are required for sports, custom fit (lab processed) appliances are not suitable. The store purchased, boil yourself type are more appropriate and can be reshaped periodically as treatment progresses. Upon completion of your treatment, a custom mouth guard can then be made for you.