- My New Braces Are On... Now What?
- What To Expect When Your Braces Are New
- Emergency Care
- Brushing & Flossing for Different Types of Braces
- Brushing and Flossing Instructions for Self Ligating Braces, Traditional Braces, Clear Braces, and Insignia®
- Brushing and Flossing Instructions for Invisalign® Aligner Therapy
Living with braces is not hard. There may be some adjustments you have to make to ensure your treatment plan goes as smooth and quick as possible, but Lewis Orthodontics will help you live your life while you get the smile you want! The following are a few tips based on the most common questions we receive.
Your teeth, mouth, and gums may feel sore or tender while your braces are new. Also, your teeth may feel loose. Don’t worry, it won’t last. After the first week or two, you should barely notice your new braces. If you have slight discomfort, try any of the following remedies for relief - drinking cold water, gargling with salt water, taking a pain reliever, eating soft foods, using an oral antiseptic, or orthodontic wax. If the discomfort persists or you just want to ensure everything is feeling the way it should, call our office.
Eating with Braces You may temporarily miss out on a few of your favorite foods while your braces are on, but when we’re done, you’ll have the smile and food you want. Watch out for some common foods that could damage your braces:
- STOP! These Foods are Likely to Break and/or Bend Wires and Brackets: Popcorn, Ice, Taffy, Nuts & Seeds, Beef Jerky, Crusty Bread (bagels, pizza crust), Hard Candy
- CAUTION! These Foods can be Eaten with Care: With a few extra steps these foods can be enjoyed with braces. Try softening or cutting them into small pieces: Crunchy Fruits & Vegetables, Hard Cookies, Meat on the Bone (remove), Chips
- WATCH OUT! These Foods can Cause Decay While Wearing Braces: Sweet treats can cause decay by getting stuck on or behind your braces. Although you should immediately brush your teeth after eating anything, these are a few foods commonly forgotten: Soda, Juice, Honey in Your Tea, Sugar in Your Coffee, Candy or Sugary Breath Mints.
We do our best to accommodate same-day appointments whenever possible, especially for emergencies like broken ties or wires. If you experience an orthodontic emergency click here or call our office right away to schedule an appointment.
Let’s face it, there are a few steps to getting your smile straight. Now that you’ve decided to get braces, you’ll need to know how to care for them, and your teeth. No matter what type of braces you choose you’ll need to adjust your oral hygiene routine for braces. Instructions can vary a little, based on the type of braces you're using to straighten your teeth.
When wearing these types of braces, you’ll need to brush and floss your teeth after every meal. We know that will be a bit of an adjustment for you but it’s worth it to prevent cavities while wearing these different types of braces. Flossing is usually the hardest part to get use too, it can be a little tedious with certain types of braces. However, if you take the time to learn, flossing with braces will become easy in no time. Although some types of braces are easier to clean than others, the information below should be helpful for traditional braces, clear braces, ceramic braces, and custom braces. Here are a few common ways to make it easier to floss teeth while wearing these types of braces:
Floss Threaders - Floss Threaders can make it easier to floss while wearing traditional, self ligating, ceramic or clear braces. So what are they? Floss threaders are a big flexible loop that you draw the floss through. The benefit of using a floss threader while wearing these types of braces is that they help you draw the floss under the wire for your braces and in between your teeth much more easily.
Interdental Brushes - Interdental Brushes are exactly what they sound like: little brushes for in between your teeth. These little brushes for flossing work particularly well with ceramic braces, self ligating braces, clear braces, and traditional metal braces. Many patients think this is the easiest way to floss while wearing these types of braces. The little brushes are soft enough (like pipe cleaners) that they won’t scratch or be uncomfortable while using them.
Super Floss - Super Floss is another helpful intervention for people who are wearing these types of braces. The hard end makes it much easier to thread the floss so that you can clean in between your teeth and under the wire for your braces. Super floss works well with ceramic braces, self ligating braces, clear braces, and metal braces. The hardest part about about flossing with braces is finding an easy way to get the floss under the wire. Using super floss, interdental brushes, and floss threaders should help you save time and frustration when flossing with these types of braces on. Lewis Orthodontists can help you determine the most convenient treatment for your routine at your free consultation. Our office in Lyndhurst, Ohio offers braces you can’t see, clear braces, ceramic braces, self ligating braces, custom braces, Invisalign, and other options for straightening your teeth without braces. Only an orthodontist can determine whether or not you need braces to straighten crooked teeth or if you teeth can be straightened without braces.
One of the best features to Invisalign® Aligner Therapy is that it allows you to straighten your teeth without braces. The Invisalign® Aligners are removable so you can brush and floss your teeth as you normally would, unlike with traditional braces, ceramic braces, and self ligating braces. However, you’ll need to get used to brushing and flossing your teeth a lot more often, in fact every time you eat. Although Lewis Orthodontics knows that may be inconvenient, it will prevent tooth decay. Food and beverages can get caught under your Invisalign® Aligners where saliva can’t naturally clean your teeth like it would without your aligners on. It’s also important to remove your Invisalign® Aligners every time you are eating or drinking, except for water. This is important because not only can food and drink get stuck under your Invisalign® Aligners but you can cause discoloration, gross smells, and yucky bacteria by eating and drinking with them on. For good oral hygiene, your Invisalign® Aligners will need special care as well. Specifically, you’ll need to rinse them off every time you take them out or put them in. The naturally occurring bacteria and plaque in your mouth can cause Invisalign® Aligners to start to develop a smell to them and in some case start to develop a little bit of a dirty look to them. So how do you clean your Invisalign® Aligners? The best way is to gently brush them with clear, antibacterial soap. Soap with fun colors can easily stain your aligners. Toothpaste is not ever recommended for cleaning your aligners. Many toothpastes are abrasive and can scratch your aligners causing them to trap bacteria and lose their translucent look. If you want to give your aligners an extra cleaning, feel free to use denture cleaner or soak them in the cleaning crystals made by Invisalign®.