Braces are often placed in patients between 10 and 14 years of age to correct crooked or overcrowded teeth. “The benefits of braces are many,” says Ken Sutherland, DDS, Delta Dental senior dental consultant. “Straight teeth, an attractive smile, improved dental function and, often, improved overall health are all results of wearing braces."
Now that you’ve got braces, it is important to take good care of your teeth. There are certain foods that you’ll need to avoid and you’ll need to take extra care cleaning your teeth. While this may sound like a sacrifice, remember that in a very short time the braces will come off and you’ll have straight, beautiful teeth.
Brushing and flossing tips from Daisy:
Brushing your teeth with braces
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste. When you brush your teeth, move the brush in small, circular motions to reach food particles that may be under your gum line. Hold the toothbrush at an angle and brush slowly and carefully, covering all areas between teeth, between braces and the surface of each tooth.
Flossing your teeth with braces
For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, use dental floss to remove food particles and plaque. Flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces, but it is important to floss your teeth every day.
Foods to avoid with braces
Hard foods and sticky foods must be avoided as they can break or damage wires and brackets. Also avoid eating sugary foods because they cause tooth decay. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided as well.
Many times, results are limited because you don't want the full treatment. However, compromises often can be reached that improve your condition, even if not ideally. The treatment options and expected outcomes depend on the individual. Not following the doctor's instructions also can lead to less than ideal results. The orthodontist will review your options fully with you before beginning treatment.
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