Are you wondering how your oral hygiene routine will have to change once you get braces? Even though braces are common amongst adults, many people don’t know how to properly care for their orthodontic hardware.
Adults have different habits and are exposed to more things than children. This means that caring for adult braces is a little different than juvenile orthodontic care.
In this post, we’ll break down exactly how to care for your teeth when you are an adult with braces.
1. Carry A Toothbrush Everywhere
Many adults are in the habit of brushing their teeth twice per day, once in the morning and once at night. But once you get braces it is a good idea to start carrying a toothbrush at all times.
This is because food often gets caught in the wires and on the brackets. And while braces look professional, food in your teeth does not. Carry a toothbrush with you to work so that you can tidy up after every meal or snack.
Food lodged in your teeth is also not good for your long-term oral health. By carrying a toothbrush with you, you can avoid getting cavities during your time with braces.
Remember to brush gently above and below the brackets and you will be fine.
2. Floss Every Day
If flossing every day wasn’t already a part of your hygiene routine, it should be now. But you will find that it is a lot more difficult with braces because you have to floss around the wire.
Traditional floss won’t do the trick anymore. But you can get an orthodontic flosser or a water flosser to help you floss above and below your wire.
This ensures that food won’t get caught in between your teeth and cause cavities later on. Plus, flossing is one of the best ways to ensure your gum health.
3. Avoid Problematic Foods
Watching what you eat is an important aspect of taking care of braces. While you have braces, it is important to avoid foods that can break a bracket or snap one of your rubber bands. Breaking a bracket is not only uncomfortable, but it requires you to make an emergency appointment to get it fixed.
Problematic foods that can endanger your brackets include anything super chewy or hard. These are things like gum, caramels, popcorn, and hard crackers. It is best to avoid these types of foods entirely while you have braces.
You should also avoid foods that have high concentrations of sugar in them. Since oral hygiene is more difficult with braces, it is important that you do everything you can to avoid cavities.
4. Watch What You Drink
There are certain adult beverages that you should avoid in excess while you have braces. Hot coffee, black tea, and red wine can stain the brackets and bands on your braces. To protect your teeth and avoid turning your braces an unsightly color, cut down on these beverages during your treatment.
If you have a hard time giving up these drinks, there are a few strategies that you can try. Swish with some mouthwash after having a drink, and you might be able to stay ahead of the issue.
If you are an avid coffee drinker, switch to iced coffee and drink it through a straw. This can soften the effect that it has on your teeth.
Watching what you drink will ensure that you maintain good oral health for the duration of your treatment. You may have to change your coffee order for a few months, but your teeth will thank you in the long run.
5. Attack Oral Bacteria
Your oral hygiene routine now that you have braces needs to include some ways to target bacteria in your mouth. Problematic bacteria can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Introduce mouthwash to your daily routine. Mouthwash will target bacteria and since it is a liquid, it can access the hard-to-reach areas near your brackets. Swish some mouthwash before you go to bed, or as needed after a meal.
6. Choose Toothpaste Carefully
You should also pay attention to what type of toothpaste you choose. Opt for toothpaste that has fluoride in it, as that will make your teeth stronger.
A lot of adults like to buy whitening toothpaste to treat stains on their teeth. But it is better to avoid these kinds of toothpaste during the time that you have braces. This is because you won’t be able to reach the parts of your teeth where the brackets sit. You don’t want to remove the brackets later on and discover that you have a slight color discrepancy.
7. Avoid Tobacco Products
This is rarely a problem for kids or teenagers, but it is important to tell adults with braces to avoid tobacco products. To be clear, tobacco and cigarettes are always bad for your teeth. But you should especially avoid them while you have braces.
Tobacco products like chew can get stuck in your teeth and interfere with your brackets. Both cigarettes and chew lead to staining on your teeth, and make it harder to clean your mouth.
If you are an avid smoker, maybe getting braces is a good reason to try to quit. Remember, avoiding tobacco isn’t just good braces maintenance, it is also good for your overall health. Click here if you want to learn more about quitting smoking.
Adult Braces Lead to Beautiful Smiles
Getting braces as an adult is a wonderful way to commit to your long-term oral health. But it may also mean that you have to change your oral hygiene routine. Hopefully, the above tips will help you care for your adult braces and ensure your mouth health.
Our team at Weiss & Tor Orthodontics is committed to helping you get a smile that will make you happy. To learn more about adult braces and book an appointment, contact us now.