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Braces Safety 101

Braces will straighten your teeth and improve your smile, but they still need to be cared for while you have them on your teeth. It isn't hard to keep your teeth and your braces safe, but you should still follow these basic guidelines.

Continue To Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing your teeth will be a bit different when you have braces. Many dentists recommend cleaning after every meal since food is more likely to get caught in between your teeth. However, with braces, you should brush with a softer head to avoid irritating your gums and make sure to remove any food particles before beginning. Flossing your teeth will involve carefully threading the floss through the wires on your braces. This is something that will be more difficult than before you had braces, but it can be done with special floss threaders to make the process easier. Ask your orthodontist for recommendations.

Watch What You Eat

For the most part, you will be able to eat most of the foods you enjoyed before, but there will be certain things that you should avoid. Sticky and chewy foods such as caramels, hard candy, or chewing gum will be more likely to get stuck in your braces, so you might want to skip them. Crunchy foods such as pretzels or popcorn can also damage your braces if you bite down on them in a certain way. Avoid these as well.

Protect Your Mouth

If you enjoy playing sports where you could be hit in the mouth, be sure to wear a mouth guard on your upper and lower teeth. Mouth guards are always a good thing to wear anyway, but they will be far more important when you're wearing braces. The braces themselves can be damaged by hard impact, and it will hurt if your lips are mashed into the metal brackets on your teeth. For best results, wear a mouth guard that has been specifically customized for your braces and teeth.

For more tips on taking care of your braces or if you want to learn more about which braces are best for you, contact Speaks Orthodontics today.