Caring for your teeth while you have braces on can be challenging — both more time consuming and more difficult — but it is one of the most important parts of your journey with braces. Most people wear braces for one to three years, so practicing good oral health habits during this time is especially important. After you get your braces off, the way you care for your teeth will likely change, but it remains equally important.
Caring for your teeth while wearing braces
Braces, wires and rubber bands are known to attract and retain food and plaque, so it is especially important to brush after each meal or snack. We can recommend the best toothbrush for you to do this, which is usually V-shaped to fit around your braces. You may also want to consider investing in an interdental toothbrush which is narrow enough to fit in between each bracket.
Flossing once per day is an extremely important aspect of caring for your teeth, both when you have braces and after. Flossing is definitely more challenging when you have braces, so you’ll want to discuss technique with us. You likely will be advised to use a floss threader, which allows you to thread the floss between each bracket behind the wire. Another option is to use a water flosser, which shoots a small stream of water to flush food and plaque away from your teeth and braces.
Caring for your teeth after braces
By far, the best part of having braces is getting them removed. After years of living with metal or ceramic brackets on your teeth, you finally get to see your beautiful, straight smile. However, there are many important steps to keep your smile in tip-top shape.
Brushing and flossing
This one might seem obvious, but it is just as important to keep up your brushing and flossing habits as when you had braces. You luckily no longer have to use special tools to brush or floss, so there is no excuse. Brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day will help to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.
Now that your teeth are in the perfect position, you want to make sure they stay there. The most effective way to do this is by wearing your retainer every single day. Our office may recommend wearing it anytime you are not eating, or only at night. Either way, this is a step that you definitely do not want to skip. There is nothing worse than spending years with braces, just to have your teeth move back to their original position. Your retainer will help keep your teeth in the position that you want them.
Whitening after braces
Arguably the only way to enhance your new beautifully straight smile is to whiten your teeth. Come to our office and discuss your options for whitening your new straight smile.
The bottom line
Taking care of your teeth while wearing braces, although it can be challenging, is very important to your oral health — and continues to be important once your braces have been removed. Contact our office today to learn more about caring for your teeth and how braces factor into this equation.
Request an appointment here: https://www.longgrovedental.com or call Long Grove Dental at (847) 636-5020 for an appointment in our Long Grove office.
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