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Care and Maintenance of Braces

In order to achieve the desired effect, you will have to wear your braces for an extended period of time, long enough for your body to remodel the bones around your teeth. Although some orthodontic treatment may take six months, others may take a year or more. To ensure that your braces and your teeth remain in good condition for the full length of treatment, proper care and maintenance is required.

This page is for general reference for people considering braces. Patients with braces should refer to their detailed care instructions. If you are a current patient or are considering braces in Columbus, OH, and want to talk to a dentist, please call (614) 848-5001 or email the Center for Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today for an appointment.

beautiful teeth with perfect oral hygiene,close up

Cleaning of Teeth and Braces

Ensuring that your teeth and braces remain clean is essential to getting good results from your orthodontic procedure with a minimum of side effects. To help keep your teeth clean, you have to take extra care when performing your daily oral hygiene.

Start by brushing each tooth surface individually. Clean each tooth above the archwire, then clean it below the archwire. Next, take an interdental or proxa brush and brush between the archwire and the tooth. Finally, clean between your teeth using floss that’s threaded gently above and below the archwire.

You will want to clean your teeth more often with braces. Continue to clean your teeth thoroughly in the morning and evening, but add short cleanings after any time you eat something. Fluoride rinse is recommended in the evening.

Foods to Avoid

To maintain the health of your teeth during orthodontic treatment, try to limit between meal snacking. You should especially avoid any snacks that contain sugar or simple carbohydrates that can easily be converted to sugars. Don’t forget to brush after every snack.

Some foods have the potential to damage your braces and should be avoided when you have your braces on. First, avoid any type of food you have to bite down into, as this could damage your braces. This includes steak, pork chops, chicken, or other meat on a bone that could be hard to get off. You should also avoid biting into foods like crusty breads or pizza crust. Don’t bite into crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, and celery. All of these foods can still be eaten, but should be cut into small pieces and chewed with the back teeth.

Some foods should be avoided completely. Sticky, chewy candies like caramels, toffees, and chews, should be avoided. Chewing gum and popcorn should not be eaten.

Dealing with Problems

One of the most common problems people face is having a wire or bracket that irritates the cheeks after the placement of braces. To counter this, take a small piece of the provided wax and rub it between your fingers until soft enough to shape around the irritating structure. This shouldn’t have to be done all the time–it’s a short term measure. If irritation persists, please contact our office.

If a bracket comes loose or a wire breaks, please contact our office immediately to set up an appointment to have it repaired or replaced.

If you have more questions about the care and maintenance of braces in Columbus, OH, please call (614) 848-5001 or email us for an appointment at the Center for Family & Cosmetic Dentistry.