Braces and Dental Hygiene
You may have recently found out you are going to need to get dental braces. If you are going with the traditional kind, then it is possible you have seen someone with them before. They look like little metal squares in the center of all of their visible teeth. Because it can be genetic, you probably expected to have to get them at some point if someone in your family has needed them as well. The advantages of using braces can be life-changing, especially if you feel social anxiety or have low self-esteem because of your teeth. With Queen Anne Family Dental, we are happy to help you optimize your treatment plan so that your result can be the dazzling smile that you always wanted.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
When you consume sugar and do not brush your teeth afterward, the bacteria that live in your mouth will start to eat it. They leave behind a chalky residue called plaque. It is easy to remove if you catch it early, but over time can become thicker and may lead to tooth decay. It is important to remember to brush any time that your teeth feel fuzzy, because that is the bacteria going to work on the sugar. It is important to floss after every meal to help remove food residue. This may also remove particles your toothbrush could leave behind. Bad oral hygiene can cause tooth loss and gum disease, but it never has to get to that point.
It is important that once you get your braces that you avoid eating certain foods, so you do not risk pulling or breaking any of the pieces. Many foods that are sticky, like taffy, caramels, and gum, can tug at the metal and possibly pull it loose. Hard foods that may do damage to your wires, include apples and carrots, especially if larger pieces get stuck behind the metal. If you must eat them, be sure to slice them up into smaller pieces for easier chewing.
Caring for Your Braces
There are often many components that make up your braces, which will need to be cleaned multiple times a day. The anchoring piece, called the bracket, is glued to the center of your tooth. A long wire connects all of the teeth with the use of rubber bands. There are now many more nooks and crannies for food to get stored, so now frequent brushing and good oral hygiene for your braces become even more important if you wish to attain the best possible outcome. In addition to removing obvious pieces of food that may get stuck behind the wires, you will need to brush and floss around the brackets carefully to remove any potential hiding spots for bacteria.
You may be given a special toothbrush. With a good fluoride toothpaste, some dental floss and a floss threader, you will have all of the pieces necessary to start taking the best care you can of your braces. The process is simple, which will take only a few minutes to do when you first wake up, before you go to bed, and after every meal. Brush each tooth, around the bracket, and across your gums to remove possible plaque buildup. To floss, carefully thread it underneath the archwire, gently floss each side of the tooth, then repeat for all teeth.
Through the consistent self-discipline and dedicated responsibility that will be required to obtain a superior orthodontic achievement, the true triumph will not just be in having a practically perfect smile, but also in having discovered a dental hygiene routine that will benefit you for the rest of your life. If you are interested in learning more about braces, be sure to contact Queen Anne Family Dental at (206) 424-4450, where we will be happy to answer all of your questions.