Braces provide a great way to move your teeth into proper alignment. This helps create a more attractive smile and prevent oral health issues associated with crowded or misaligned teeth, but there's no denying that braces can take getting some used to.
If you are about to get your braces in or have just had them attached, one thing you might have to learn is how to keep them free from bits of food. This isn't just inconvenient. Food that gets stuck to your braces can impact your oral health and even damage the braces themselves. Your orthodontist can always help, but you should also follow these five tips to keep food from getting stuck to your braces.
1. Clean After Every Meal
It's much easier for food to stick to your braces once it has a chance to harden, so it's best to clean your teeth after every meal. As such, it's a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush around with you to ensure you can take care of your braces even when you're out and about.
2. Try Interdental Brushes or Water Flossers
Flossing is normally a great way to remove food debris from between your teeth, but braces can make flossing much tougher. Instead, try using interdental brushes or a water flosser. Both are ideal for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, especially when you have braces attached. Water flossers are often particularly beneficial since they put less pressure on your teeth and are therefore more comfortable to use when your teeth are still tender.
3. Rinse Regularly
A good antiseptic mouthwash will reach parts of your mouth that other cleaning methods cannot. Simply swishing some around your mouth a few times a day can help keep your braces clean by washing away food debris. If you don't have any with you, you can always use water instead.
4. Avoid Anything Hard or Sticky
Some types of food are more troublesome than others when you're wearing braces. You should be particularly careful to avoid anything sticky since these foods can get into small areas and will be hard to remove from braces. It's also worth avoiding anything hard that could damage your braces or get stuck between them.
5. Keep Snacking to a Minimum
It can be tempting to graze on your favourite snacks throughout the day, but this is something you might want to avoid once your braces are fitted. Whenever you snack on something, you're increasing the chance of food getting stuck to your braces, and it's often impractical to brush after every small snack.