Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

You just got braces in Hinsdale (yay!), and now you need to know how to keep them clean. Keeping your braces clean is one of the most important things you can do for your treatment plan. Everything works better when it’s clean. Your car, your kitchen, your workspace, your tools. Why should orthodontic appliances like braces be any different? Here’s a hint from Dr. Blair and Dr. Riccio—they aren’t. If you’re a recent braces patient of Hinsdale Orthodontics, here are our top tips for keeping your braces clean. 

Understanding Braces

Braces are a powerful orthodontic treatment tool. They’re designed to straighten your teeth.  They work hard to correct misaligned bites and improve your overall dental health. Our office uses the Damon brand for our metal and clear braces. 

Our Damon metal braces are rugged, resilient, and tough. We design them to be with you for the long haul. Treatment takes time, anywhere from a matter of months to a couple of years. You can bank on metal braces from Hinsdale Orthodontics to show up for work every day. They’ll get the (smile) job done right. 

We make our Damon clear braces from polycrystalline ceramic. They’re transparent, which means you can see through them. Do you prefer your treatment incognito? Damon clear braces are the way to go. 

Braces and Brushing

Both clear and metal braces use brackets and wires. The brackets and wires that work hard to reshape your smile can also create small spaces. If you don’t brush and floss well, tiny bits of food can accumulate in these spaces (ick!). If that’s not bad enough, wait until you hear what happens next! If you don’t take care of your oral hygiene, plaque will form in the gaps between your teeth, brackets, and wires (double ick!). Plaque can stain your teeth or give you horrible halitosis (bad breath). Worst of all—it can make your treatment even longer than we originally planned. Nobody wants that?

So what can you do about it?

Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

Daily Cleaning Techniques

Everything works better when it’s clean, remember? It doesn’t matter if you have metal braces or clear. They’ll work better and faster if you take care of them. Oral hygiene is even more important when you have braces. Even if it is a little more difficult than it is without appliances. 

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But we need to keep oral hygiene hijinx away! Your mouth doesn’t need boogeymen like cavities and gingivitis creeping around. Keeping your appliances clean makes your mouth happy and healthy. 

Here are some techniques that Dr. Blair and Dr. Riccio of Hinsdale Orthodontics recommend for maintaining impeccable oral hygiene:

Brushing

Brushing after every meal and snack helps prevent food particles from hanging around in your braces. Try a toothbrush with softer bristles to clean around your brackets and gum line. An interdental (between your teeth) brush can get in and around wires and your teeth. 

Flossing

Flossing can be hard. Some Hinsdale patients say it’s even harder with braces. But it’s an indispensable part of your hygiene routine. Use a floss threader or orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Gently move the floss up and down between your teeth and along your gum line. 

Rinsing

Add an antimicrobial (kills tiny microorganisms) or fluoride mouthwash into your daily routine. It can help reduce plaque buildup and remineralize your teeth. Rinsing is useful for areas that are hard to reach with brushing and flossing alone. Rinse vigorously for 30 seconds after brushing and flossing to wash away any remaining particles and to keep your mouth fresh.

Foods to Avoid and Foods to Choose

We know. Nobody wants to completely restructure their diet just because they have braces. Trust us. We want you to enjoy your favorite foods. But some foods really are harmful to your braces. Dr. Blair and Dr. Riccio at Hinsdale Orthodontics have a little list to help you out. It will help you determine which foods to avoid and which to choose. 

Foods to Avoid

  • Hard Foods: Stay away from nuts, hard candies, and popcorn. These can break wires and dislodge your brackets.
  • Sticky Foods: Pass on caramel, chewing gum, and other sticky sweets that can get caught in your braces.
  • Crunchy Foods: Foods like raw carrots or hard pretzels should be consumed cautiously or eliminated altogether.
  • Sugary Foods: Minimize sweets like cookies and cake, which increase your likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.

Foods to Choose

  • Soft Fruits: Opt for easy bananas, berries, and grape slices on your braces.
  • Vegetables: Steam or boil vegetables like carrots and broccoli to make them softer and safer.
  • Dairy Products: Cheese, yogurt, and smoothies are great for calcium intake and are braces-friendly.
  • Proteins: Soft-cooked meats, tofu, and creamy peanut butter provide essential nutrients without risking damage to your braces.
Tips for Keeping Your Braces Clean

Unbeatable Braces at Hinsdale Orthodontics

Keeping your braces neat and tidy just about guarantees you a successful orthodontic journey. By following our team’s daily and weekly cleaning tips and making smart food choices, you can protect your oral health. Dr. Blair and Dr. Riccio at Hinsdale Orthodontics are committed to providing unbeatable braces treatment to patients in Hinsdale. Want to know more? Go here to schedule your free consultation right away!