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How to Care for Braces

Getting braces can be an exciting yet intimidating experience, and your journey to straighter teeth will require some special considerations when it comes to the ways you care for and protect them, especially in what you eat and in your daily oral hygiene. However, Monarch Dental is here to help make sure your time in braces results in a confident smile you’re proud to share.

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Taking Care of Your Braces

Taking good care of your braces not only helps to keep your treatment schedule on time–so you don’t have to be in them any longer than you need to–it also helps keep your teeth healthy and clean while you’re in braces.

Here are 4 tips for taking care of your braces.

  1. Brushing. There are lots of intricate parts to traditional braces, such as in between brackets and under the archwire, so it’s important to keep those areas clean and free of debris. You may be used to brushing side to side, but with braces, you’ll want to move your soft bristle toothbrush in an up-and-down motion. You can also get a specialized toothbrush called a proxabrush that is specifically designed to clean in between and around brackets. 
  2. Flossing. This can be one of the more challenging adjustments with braces, but it is even more important. You can do this by hand or with the help of a plastic floss threader. You’ll need to thread the floss through the section above the wire, then need to work the wire upwards between the two teeth. Floss up into the gumline, then remove the floss and begin the process again on the next pair of adjacent teeth.
  3. Mouthwash. Adding mouthwash to your existing dental hygiene routine is a healthy way to help remove bacteria and food particles from hard-to-reach places between teeth, under and around brackets, and in the gum line. Use a mouthwash with fluoride for added benefit.
  4. Wear a mouthguard. Anytime you participate in an activity that can result in injury or physical contact to your face or mouth, it’s important to get fitted for and wear a mouthguard. Broken braces are not only annoying, but they can damage the soft tissues of the mouth. A custom-fitted mouthguard can help protect both your mouth and your braces from damage or injury. 

What Not to Eat with Braces

In addition to good oral hygiene and wearing a mouthguard, avoiding certain foods and behaviors will also play a significant role in preventing damage and keeping your braces and teeth clean during your orthodontic treatment. You’ll want to avoid sticky, crunchy, and hard foods that can break or loosen brackets and wires, including: 

  • Nuts
  • Candy (both hard and stick)
  • Popcorn
  • Corn on the cob
  • Tough jerky
  • Pretzels
  • Chips
  • Pizza Crust
  • Raw or crunchy vegetables
  • Apples

You can also prevent damage to your braces by avoiding:

  • Chewing on or crunching ice
  • Toothpicks
  • Nail biting
  • Chewing on pens, straws, or other non-edible items
  • Using your teeth to open or break things

What should you do if your braces break? 

At Monarch Dental, we know that sometimes, even with the best care, braces break. Wires come loose, bands fall off, and brackets separate from your teeth. If you’ve damaged or broken your braces, call the Monarch Dental nearest you and we’ll work to get you seen as quickly as possible. Broken braces are rarely, if ever, an emergency, but they do require professional treatment to be repaired. With multiple locations and same-day, Saturday, or emergency appointments available at many of them, you’ll be able to get in, get out, and get on with your day.

While you are waiting to be seen by one of our orthodontists, here are some things you can do to help protect your mouth and gums from injury or irritation and prevent further damage to the appliances. 

If you have a:

  • Broken wire, use something soft like an eraser to gently push it back into place. This will prevent it from cutting or poking your gums, lips, or cheeks. 
  • Loose bracket, use dental wax to secure the bracket in place. This is a temporary solution until you can be seen in person to get the problem resolved. 
  • Loose band, you can gently remove it with your fingers or a sanitized pair of tweezers. Take the band with you to your appointment so your orthodontist can inspect it to prevent it from happening again and replace it. 

Make Caring for Your Braces Easy with Monarch Dental

At Monarch Dental, we know the extra effort and investment that braces require are well worth it, and we’re here to support our orthodontic patients through every step of their treatment. With offices in 15 states, we’ve got hundreds of locations to offer you access to fast and affordable services. What’s more, we offer flexible scheduling and extended and emergency hours at many locations* to ensure we’re available when you need us. Book your appointment for the smile you’ve always dreamed of! 

*Not all services are available at all locations. Check with your nearest Monarch Dental office for more information.