Caring for Your Braces: Dos and Don’ts

At Hillam Orthodontics, we're passionate about building beautiful smiles that last a lifetime. Getting braces is a significant milestone in achieving the smile of your dreams. It's a commitment not just to a more aesthetically pleasing smile but also to better oral health. 

However, the journey doesn’t end with just getting braces. Proper care and maintenance of your braces play a pivotal role in the success of your orthodontic treatment. 

To help guide you through this journey, we've compiled a comprehensive list of dos and don’ts. These tips will ensure that your braces work effectively and your teeth stay healthy, setting the stage for that perfect smile.

Do: Maintain Regular Cleaning

Good oral hygiene is essential when you have braces. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is essential to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that can gently clean around your braces and fluoride toothpaste to protect your enamel. Remember, keeping your braces clean means keeping your teeth healthy and ensuring a more effective orthodontic treatment. Remember that your orthodontic appointments do not replace your regular dental visits. Please continue to visit your dentist every six months to keep your teeth, clean and healthy.

Do: Eat Braces-friendly Foods

Your diet plays a crucial role in maintaining your braces. Opt for soft, non-sticky foods that won't damage your braces. Cut hard fruits like apples or carrots into small, bite-size pieces to avoid bending wires or popping off brackets. Steer clear of hard, sticky, or chewy foods like popcorn, nuts, caramel, and gum, as they can damage your braces and prolong treatment time.

Do: Attend Regular Checkups

Regular orthodontic appointments are vital for successful treatment. These visits allow your orthodontist to adjust your braces, track your progress, and address any concerns. Consistently attending these appointments ensures your treatment stays on track and any necessary adjustments are made promptly.

Do: Use Mouthguards for Sports

If you play sports, protecting your braces and teeth should be a top priority. A mouthguard is an essential piece of equipment—it shields your braces and minimizes the risk of oral injuries. Ask your orthodontist about the best type of mouthguard for your specific needs.

Do: Rinse with Fluoride Mouthwash

Adding a fluoride mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine can be highly beneficial. It aids in reducing the risk of cavities and keeps your mouth fresh. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, providing an extra layer of protection against decay, which is especially important during orthodontic treatment.

Don’t: Chew on Hard Objects

Chewing on hard objects like pens, ice, or fingernails is a big no-no when you have braces. These habits can bend wires, break brackets, and prolong your treatment time. It's important to break these habits early in your orthodontic journey to avoid unnecessary damage and potential orthodontic emergencies.

Don’t: Eat Sugary & Starchy Foods

Sugary and starchy foods can lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay, which are particularly problematic when you have braces. These types of foods can stick to braces and teeth, creating areas where plaque can accumulate and cause cavities. Stick to healthier options to maintain good oral health throughout your treatment.

Don’t: Skip Dental Appointments

While orthodontists focus on straightening your teeth, regular dental checkups are essential for overall oral health. These appointments are crucial for cleaning and checking for cavities and gum disease. Don't overlook the importance of these visits during your orthodontic treatment.

Don’t: Attempt DIY Adjustments

If you're experiencing issues with your braces, never try to adjust them yourself. DIY adjustments can cause more harm than good. If you're feeling discomfort or a piece of your brace comes loose, contact Hillam Orthodontics immediately. We're equipped to handle these situations professionally.

Don’t: Neglect Lip & Cheek Protectors

If your braces are causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, make sure to use the wax provided by your orthodontist. This wax can help create a smooth surface and prevent sores or cuts in your mouth, making your orthodontic experience more comfortable.

Your Journey to a Perfect Smile

Remember, taking care of your braces is a joint effort between you and your orthodontic team. By following these dos and don’ts, you'll ensure a smoother, more effective treatment process, leading to that beautiful smile you've always wanted

If you have any questions or concerns about your braces, don’t hesitate to contact Hillam Orthodontics. We’re here to help every step of the way!

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Why Hillam Orthodontics?

Board-certified Orthodontists
Offices in Idaho Falls, Driggs, & Afton
3 generations of doctors practicing since 1966

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