There is a lot to learn as you begin your smile journey, but Beim Orthodontics is here to break things down for you and explain how to maintain good oral health with orthodontic treatment. Everything from what to include in your oral hygiene routine to how to preserve your appliance, you can count on us for the answers. Read on to learn more about how to protect your oral health.
Make Daily Oral Health a Priority
One of the best ways to keep your teeth clean and healthy is by brushing them each morning and night. Doing so preserves their functionality and strength in the long term, so your original teeth last a lifetime. Dr. Beim usually recommends brushing twice daily, but wearing an appliance calls for more frequent cleanings. After each meal, a quick but thorough brush is critical.
We suggest patients use a soft-bristled toothbrush as well as fluoride toothpaste to rid the surface of any plaque buildup and lingering bacteria as effectively as possible. Using gentle, nonabrasive tools helps preserve the condition of your appliance and teeth so as not to scratch the surface. While wearing braces, you will likely go through toothbrushes more quickly than usual, so always have a replacement handy to continue regular cleanings.
While your teeth are crowded or otherwise out of their ideal environment, you will get more small pieces of food stuck between them after eating. Making it a point to remove these particles during your cleaning routine each night helps to slow down bacteria growth and avoid rapid tooth decay. Keeping them in your mouth for too long can also lead to bad breath.
This is where the power of flossing comes in. Dr. Beim recommends doing so at least once daily, preferably at night, which is considered best practice. If your appliance has wires, they will prevent you from using a string of floss by itself to go all the way down your tooth. Instead, Beim Orthodontics provides floss threaders where you can thread the string underneath your wire to meticulously clean each tooth.
While brushing and flossing eliminate some of the harmful bacteria in your mouth, much of it lingers on your tongue. Using a tongue scraper to clean it off directly and remove the layers can protect you from buildup. This step only takes a couple of extra minutes!
Using mouthwash is a great way to bolster your oral hygiene routine and supplement your health by removing plaque, preventing cavities, fighting tooth decay, and freshening up bad breath. Many formulas contain fluoride, the same ingredient found in toothpaste, which builds your protection and preserves your enamel.
Remember to Attend Your Follow-Ups
Going to your scheduled check-in appointments throughout treatment helps Dr. Beim and our team keep track of your oral health and treatment progress. Typically scheduled every three to six weeks, depending on your needs, we use this dedicated time to ensure everything is going to plan and determine if any issues need to be addressed.
The earlier we are able to spot complications or make adjustments, the easier time you will have as treatment progresses, and the faster results come your way. We understand sometimes unexpected things come up and you are not able to make your appointment. Please let our team know as soon as possible so we can help you reschedule.
Did you know that water is one of the best ways to naturally keep your teeth healthy? It’s true! Water also contains fluoride and can wash away plaque as you sip. It works to dilute the acids created in your mouth from sugary foods, which can cause cavities.
Keeping a bottle with you as often as possible will strengthen your teeth and benefit your general health. As a first step before brushing your teeth, you can also do a quick swish of water to flush through any loose pieces of food.
Think About Your Eating Habits
Some appliances like metal and clear braces carry food restrictions to keep them from getting damaged and your teeth healthy. It is essential you keep both in excellent condition throughout treatment to avoid any complications that would extend your time before reaching perfect alignment.
Foods You Should Stay Away From
Once your braces are set, Dr. Beim recommends avoiding anything hard, crunchy, or chewy, such as nuts, popcorn, corn on the cob, raw vegetables, potato chips, and similar foods. Our team will be able to give you a more complete list in our office and can answer any questions you have about specific foods. If your favorite meal or snack is listed, don’t worry! The wait to realign your smile will be worth it.
Foods You Can Eat
There are still plenty of delicious food choices for you to enjoy! While wearing braces, sticking to a soft-food diet will ensure you avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on your appliance and protect it from breakage. Tender chicken, soup, mashed potatoes, soft cookies, soft veggies, pasta, and similar items are great for maintaining a balanced diet and keeping your teeth healthy.
Making Nutritional Choices
Maintaining your nutrition is critical to preserving the strength of your teeth and optimal oral health. Doing so protects your gums, balances the acid level in your mouth, and prevents common complications like gum disease. If you are curious about the specific effect something has on your teeth, feel free to ask Dr. Beim at your next visit.
Prioritize Your Oral Health For the Future!
As you continue your smile journey, Beim Orthodontics is here to support you! Whether you have questions about the process, what comes next, how your appliance works, or need any advice, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team serves Lake Mary and the surrounding communities with excellent orthodontic services and is ready to help you start treatment. Schedule your free consultation with Dr. Beim today!