Orthodontic treatment (Braces, plates or Invisalign) is an important investment for your future. While you are wearing braces, it is essential that you take care of your teeth and gums.
MORE CARE NEEDED DURING ORTHODONTICS –
Have a look in the mirror at your new braces. As you see, the brackets and wires have many nooks and crannies that can trap food and plaque. You need to pay special attention to cleaning your teeth every day and be careful with what foods and drinks you choose to consume. Permanent damage to your tooth enamel can occur if your teeth and the brackets are not cleaned regularly.
TOOTH FRIENDLY DIET –
|Acidic foods and drinks (pH less than 4.5)||Low acid foods and drinks (pH greater than 4.5)|
|Apples, apricots, cherries, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, pineapples, raspberries||Bananas, mangoes, melons, pawpaws|
|Soft drinks (Regular & Diet), cordial, sports drinks (Gatorade & Powerade), energy drinks (Red Bull & “V”), wine, fruit drinks, fruit juices||Milk, soda water, flat spring water
|Salad dressings||Meat, poultry, seafood|
|Lemons||Eggs, soda crackers|
Acidity of some common foods and drinks
Sugary foods and drinks can lead to tooth decay. Starchy foods, such as potato crisps can also stick to teeth for long periods of time and cause tooth decay. There is an increased concern during braces about acidic food and drinks such as vinegar-based salad dressings, cola (diet & regular), cordial, sports drinks and fruit juices that can erode enamel from teeth when consumed frequently or when sipped over an extended period of time.
A good rule to follow is to limit eating times each day to 3 meals and 2 snack times. You can drink plenty of water as often as you like. Be aware that bottled water may not contain fluoride.
BRACES FRIENDLY DIET AND HABITS –
Avoid hard foods such as nuts and hard biscuits. Foods such as apples and carrots should be chopped into small pieces before eating to reduce the stress on your braces. Avoid sticky foods such as caramels, toffees, muesli or fruit bars. NO chewing gum! No chewing on ice!
Habits such as nail biting, unnatural tongue thrusting, pencil chewing and nervous picking at your wires can also break wires or dislodge the brackets.
MANAGING SORE SPOTS –
When we first place on the braces or once the teeth and wires start moving, the buttons / brackets can sometimes cause ulcers or gum sores. We have supplied you with some orthodontic wax. Peel off a small amount and place onto the bracket adjacent to where you feel discomfort. Usually the hooks on the buttons are the culprits causing the abrasion. This ulceration or soreness is usually temporary, once your mouth gets used to having the braces and plates you will no longer develop sores
CARE AT HOME:
- If your orthodontist has fitted you with elastics, remove them prior to brushing
- Using a fluoride toothpaste and a small soft toothbrush, place your brush at a 45° angle against the gums. Gently brush along the gum-line where the gums and teeth meet, using a small circular motion on each tooth
- Spend 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth, brushing in a set pattern so that you don’t miss any teeth
- Gently brush the braces. Press your toothbrush firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth. Brush in and around all of the brackets and wires – don’t forget above and below the bracket
- A battery powdered brush may be helpful
- Brush both the inside and the outside surfaces of your teeth using a gentle circular motion
- For the chewing surfaces, use a firm back and forth motion
- Spit out excess paste and then closely inspect your teeth and braces in the mirror to check that they are clean and shiny
- For hard to reach areas, you can thread some Superfloss through under the wire or use the different coloured interproximal brushes (Piksters) as shown
- Don’t forget to replace your elastics back
COURTESY OF COLGATE PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE *
If you would like more information or have any questions, please:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- call us on 9633 9835 (PARRA)
- or on 9726 4313 (CABRA)
- visit our website www.parradental.com.au