4 Essential Braces Tips
50-70% of American kids will wear braces between the ages of 16-18, to correct issues such as crooked, overlapping, over spaced, or crowded teeth.
Most wear them for 1-3 years, and during that time, it’s important to give teeth extra special care. Here’s what to do:
- Keep them clean. Take it from someone who experienced it: it is extremely easy for food to get stuck in braces! That’s why it’s so important to put in extra work to prevent buildup. Brushing and flossing after every meal is essential. Your orthodontist may even have a special flossing tool to make it easier.
- When in doubt, see the orthodontist. If a wire or bracket breaks, do not try to fix it yourself. Simply cover any sharp edges with wax or a wet cotton ball, and make an appointment with the orthodontist right away.
- Don’t forget to see the dentist too. Even though you’re seeing the orthodontist regularly, it’s still important to visit the dentist for cleanings and to check for tooth decay and other issues. Food and bacteria can stick to braces, increasing the risk of cavities.
- Avoid cavity-promoting foods. Try not to have sugary foods and drinks that can promote tooth decay. Also avoid sticky and chewy foods (like caramels, taffy, dried fruits) and hard foods (like hard candies, nuts, ice and jerky), as these can break wires and loosen brackets.