Braces are an awkward part of life for many kids, but in the long run, braces help to make your teeth straighter and stronger. Braces, along with wires and rubber bands, attract food and plaque buildup. This can cause staining of the teeth if not properly brushed away after each meal. If you do in fact brush after every meal, you can ensure adequate removal of any food which may have gotten caught in your braces while eating. Using mouthwash and floss after brushing will help to ensure an even better cleaning.

Flossing & Brushing Tips For Teeth With Braces

Flossing may seem a little more difficult while wearing braces, but it is actually quite easy. Begin by feeding the short end of the floss in between the upper portion of your tooth and the main arch wire of the brace space. Once you wriggle it in there, use a gentle back and forth “sawing” motion on each side of the tooth, being careful not to pull too hard around the arch wire.

When brushing, you will want to use a softer bristled toothbrush. Brush down on each tooth from the top and then come up from the bottom for each tooth with braces. Using a “Christmas tree” motion comes in handy for cleaning between the braces. You will want to use several strokes in each direction for one space before moving on to the next space, repeating this process until all of your teeth have been cleaned.

Foods To Avoid While Wearing Braces

Most foods can still be eaten while wearing braces. Some may need to be cut down into smaller pieces for easier chewing, but you don’t need to cut out a lot from your diet. Certain types of food, however, can loosen or even break your braces and you should avoid these at all costs. They include:

• Apples, carrots, pears, and other tough to bite down on foods
• Corn on the cob (it’s easy to cut it off the cob!)
• Bubble gum, caramels, taffy, or other sticky chewy foods
• Ice cubes
• Bagels, nuts, and even popcorn can harm your braces

Playing Sports While Wearing Braces

Just because you have braces doesn’t mean you need to cut out all athletic activities in your life. Participating in sports is absolutely fine, as long as you take certain measures to protect your braces. There are specially designed mouth guards for people with braces that are made of durable plastic and fit comfortably over your braces.

Having braces doesn’t mean you can’t still do what you enjoy. You will just need to take extra precautions when it comes to doing certain things that you like to participate in. Protecting your teeth and braces now, will ensure a much healthier mouth for years to come. And if they could, your teeth would thank you.

Want more advice about general oral health? Talk to regular link members Smile Matters!