Many adults recall having braces as children. While braces have evolved dramatically over the last few decades, modern braces benefit teeth in much the same ways as those adults recall from their youth.
Braces are often recommended to help straighten crooked teeth, correct misaligned bites and/or address overcrowded teeth. Maintenance is essential to ensure braces are effective and provide long-lasting benefits, and the American Association of Orthodontists offers these tips to protect braces and prevent patients from developing tooth decay
Avoid certain foods
Hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy foods should be avoided. Many candies and snacks fit that description, so parents of children with braces and adults with braces of their own should make sure these foods are not readily available around the house. The AAO specifically mentions foods such as caramel, gummies, licorice, jelly beans, and even soft drinks among the foods to avoid when wearing orthodontic braces.
Brush twice per day, but be careful
The experts at Oral-B® note that careful cleaning is required when wearing braces. Plaque bacteria can be easily trapped inside and around braces, so it’s especially important that people with braces carefully brush each day.
Removable parts, including elastics, should be removed prior to brushing. Clean each tooth individually in a circular motion, tilting the brush as necessary to reach small front teeth.
Continue regular dental visits
Regular visits to the orthodontist are required when wearing braces. These visits are necessary so braces can be adjusted and orthodontists can make sure there are no signs of gum disease. But Oral-B® notes that it’s just as important to continue visiting the dentist while wearing braces. Dentists can perform routine services designed to protect tooth surfaces from decay while wearing braces, making dental visits a vital component of orthodontic maintenance.
Orthodontic braces help people have healthy, beautiful smiles. Maintenance while wearing braces is vital to avoid disease and produce a mouthful of pearly whites. (MC)