9 July 2021
Wearing braces leads you towards a healthy and beautiful smile – if only you take good care of your teeth. People wearing braces have to put more effort into cleaning their teeth as braces trap food particles easily. If not removed properly, the trapped food particles can cause cavities under the brackets, which can eventually lead to tooth decay.
Braces with brackets, like traditional or Damon braces, combined with bad brushing habits can lead to a build-up of plaque around the brackets on your teeth – resulting in white spot lesions (little white squares on your teeth) when your braces are removed. These white spots are difficult to remove even with help from your Singapore orthodontist, and will likely stay with you for a long time. Plaque can also lead to worse dental problems like cavities or gum diseases.
If you want to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy, here are some tips for you!
Generally, dentists recommend brushing teeth twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. With braces, however, it is good practice to brush your teeth three times a day after every meal. Brushing your teeth after each meal prevents food particles from getting stuck for a long time, reducing the risk of plaque buildup and cavities.
Brush from your gumline in gentle, short strokes, holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth. You should also clean the top of the brackets by brushing in downward strokes, and below the brackets by brushing in upward strokes, to make sure that food does not get trapped in them.
Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles or an electric toothbrush, which you can bring out along with toothpaste and floss in a small bag. Your handy kit will help you keep your teeth clean after each meal! Even if you are taking snacks in between meals, you should also be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and remove noticeable food particles after.
Flossing is not easy with wires stringing your teeth together! You can make it easier by using floss threaders, which work by threading your regular dental floss under the wires so that you can floss your teeth like how you normally would even with braces. Interdental brushes are also a great way to get food out from hard to reach parts of your teeth and can be easily brought around with you to accompany your brushing routine. You can find these dental accessories at most pharmacies or supermarkets in Singapore.
Hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods can get stuck on your braces, hurt your teeth, and even spoil your braces. You should avoid foods like nuts, hard candies, apples, corn on the cob, bagels and hard rolls. Your orthodontist in Singapore will give you a list of foods to avoid during your first braces appointment – but you should follow the general rules to stay away from any food that is hard, sticky or chewy. You can keep other foods in your diet, like soft tortillas, soft cooked rice, pasta, soft cooked chicken, pork, beef, mashed potatoes, corn off the cob, ice cream etc.
There is, however, one special type of braces that gives you more freedom to eat what you like and brush or floss like you would without braces! The Invisalign braces are clear plastic aligners that you wear over your teeth to gradually adjust your teeth into an ideal position. These aligners can be removed during meals, which means that food does not get so easily trapped in your braces and you won’t have to brush after every single meal. If you think that you are not so disciplined in taking care of your teeth, Invisalign may be the better option for you! You can speak to your orthodontist about your options and find out what braces is most suitable for you.
All in all, other than Invisalign aligners, with traditional colour braces or Damon braces, whether for adults, teens or children, it is important to pay close attention to oral hygiene especially during the period that teeth are being treated. Taking good care of your teeth with braces on might be more tedious than usual, but trust us – it is worth it for achieving your healthy, beautiful smile!
Book an appointment with My Braces Clinic, trusted orthodontic clinic in Singapore, for braces consultation by calling (65) 6737 9797 today.
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