Caring for Your Braces
For the most part, braces won’t have a huge impact on your day-to-day life. However, you will have to make a few small tweaks to keep your braces and smile in top-notch shape. We’re sharing what you should know about life with braces. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Richmond, VA orthodontic office by calling us at (804) 282-0505 or texting us at (804) 577-1171.
Brushing and Flossing With Braces
Brushing and flossing with braces can be slightly more challenging at first but once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature. We’ll show you the correct technique when you get your braces put on.
Because the brackets and wires can trap food and plaque, you’ll want to brush your teeth in the morning, after meals and snacks, and before bed. If you forget your toothbrush while you’re out and about, rinse your mouth really well after eating and brush when you get home.
As for how to brush teeth with braces, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush along the top and bottom of your braces, along your gum line and on every surface of your teeth. Give each individual tooth some attention. You may also want to use an interproximal brush, or proxy brush, to clean in the tight spaces around your hardware.
Floss your teeth with braces at least once daily. Use a floss threader or orthodontic flosser to make it easier. Once you maneuver the floss under your wire, get in between any two teeth and floss up and down the side of one tooth and up and down the side of the other all the way to the gum line. Move on to the next pair and repeat the process.
Eating With Braces
Foods to Eat With Braces:
Like we said, most foods are still on the menu when you have braces. However, when you first get your braces put on or after adjustments, your teeth can be slightly sensitive. Sticking with soft foods and cold foods and drinks until the discomfort subsides will be super helpful. Here are some excellent braces-friendly food options to enjoy:
- Soft breads like sandwich breads and tortillas
- Grains and pasta, including noodles, rice, couscous and quinoa
- Cold drinks like ice water (just don’t chew on the ice), milkshakes and smoothies
- Dairy, such as yogurt, ice cream, soft cheeses and cottage cheese
- Ripe fruits
- Steamed and soft-cooked vegetables
- Peanut butter
- Soft-cooked, fork-tender meats
- Soft-cooked fish and fish sticks
- Tofu and tempeh
- Protein shakes
Foods to Avoid With Braces:
There are a few foods to avoid with braces, including:
What can I eat with braces? That’s a question we get a lot from our Richmond braces patients. The good news is, aside from a few exceptions, you can still eat most of the foods you love during your orthodontic treatment! To prevent your braces from getting damaged, never bite into or tear into foods with your front teeth. Instead, break or cut food into bite-size pieces and chew with your back teeth.
- Hard Foods: Avoid anything really hard or difficult to bite into, such as pizza crust, unpopped popcorn kernels, certain chips, nuts, hard candy, whole, raw apples and carrots, and corn on the cob (off the cob is okay).
- Chewy Foods: Tough meats like tough cuts of steak and beef jerky can cause breakage, as can things like hard, chewy bagels and rolls.
- Sticky Foods: Sour Patch Kids, caramels, taffy, Starburst, Airheads, Skittles, licorice and other sticky foods can damage braces and get trapped in them.