Have you decided to straighten your teeth? If dental braces are your choice then first you need to know about their care.

Getting teeth braces no longer means that you have a mouth full of metal brackets and wires.

You can get ceramic braces without metal brackets, lingual braces that go inside, and invisible braces like Invisalign.

Though there are some limitations and care for every type of braces procedure.

This article discusses the care you need to take with traditional stainless steel teeth braces.

Keep reading to know the oral hygiene to follow and the foods to avoid.

oral hygiene with dental braces

Oral Hygiene With Dental Braces

A simple task like brushing and flossing can become hard with braces.

However, it is much more important to brush, floss regularly and keep your oral hygiene on top while you are wearing braces.

Plaque, bacteria and food debris can remain stuck on your teeth which can cause cavities.

It will be very inconvenient with the metal wires and brackets inside your mouth.

Moreover, improper cleaning can lead to yellow teeth, gingivitis and enamel decalcification.

Hence, you need to continue your oral hygiene care.

In order to brush your teeth, first, take off any removable items such as elastics.

If there are none, proceed to brush teeth with a soft toothbrush.

Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle especially cleaning around the wires and pins where bacteria accumulate.

Clean the top and bottom of the arch wire as well as around the brackets.

Moreover, remember to clean every tooth individually.

Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and brush each tooth from and back thoroughly and gently.

Do not brush harshly as it can damage the brackets as well as your teeth and gums.

Furthermore, floss your teeth using a product specific to orthodontic work such as a floss threader or dental floss.

It can be difficult to floss in between the brackets and wires using a thread.

However, do not make it your excuse to skip flossing teeth as neglect will result in a tooth cavity.

You can also substitute the threads with a water flosser.

The flow of water from the flosser is likely to clean plaque that accumulates near the metal brackets.

Brush and floss gently with care because you would not want a wire or bracket to come loose.

Choosing the right tools like a soft brush and flosser can help you proceed gently.

girl sipping on drinks

Foods To Eat

If you newly got traditional metal braces then you must know that you will have to change a few of your eating habits.

Some of the foods that you eat daily can harm the brackets and wires hence deter the alignment.

There are also those foods that are generally uncomfortable to eat with the brackets, rubber bands and wires.

They cause pain and can get stuck in between the brackets causing discomfort.

Therefore, it is best to be cautious with what you can easily eat and what to avoid.

As soon as you get braces your tooth sensitivity is higher than normal.

Therefore, soon after you should eat soft foods rather than hard ones which can cause pain in your teeth.

These include eating yogurt, soft cheese, pasta, mashed potato, soft fruits and vegetables, soups, oatmeal and grains.

The purpose is to keep your pain minimal and slowly overcome the sensitivity.

Similarly, sensitivity from new braces can exacerbate if you eat food items that apply pressure on your teeth.

Such as ice cream, meat, hard bread, spicy foods and citrus fruits.

Avoiding these can prevent irritation in your mouth.

Soon after when sensitivity improves you can go back to your regular diet with the exception of a few food items.

avoid eating chocolate with dental braces

Foods To Avoid

In order to get straight teeth, you will have to make a few sacrifices.

These sacrifices are not long term and you will be back to enjoying your favorite foods for a fixed period of time.

Eating these food items can damage the brackets and wires and prolong the treatment.

Hence, you need to be tread carefully with what you choose to eat. Avoid these food items:

Sticky Foods 

Sticky candies and other foods are often bad for your teeth and they remain stuck on them for a long time.

However, they are straightaway damaging to your mouth with braces.

They can get stuck inside brackets and it is harder to remove them from there rather than from the teeth.

If they remain stuck then it could possibly lead to tooth decay.

Hence, you should avoid the likes of chewing gum, toffee, jellies and caramel.

Chewy Foods

It is better to eat soft foods that are easier to chew than those that are harder.

The harder to chew foods apply more pressure on the teeth while you should apply less.

Moreover, they can loosen the braces and you will have to pay a dental visit for them to work properly.

Hence, avoid thick pizza crusts, beef jerky, chewy candies and every food that gets your teeth to chew and gnaw extra hard.

High in Sugar Foods 

Sugary foods are generally bad for your oral health.

Though you do not need to completely avoid them, you can at least limit them during the time of your orthodontic treatment.

Bacteria feed on them and increase plaque accumulation leading to cavities inside the teeth.

Hence, you should avoid sugary drinks such as sodas and energy drinks as well as sugary foods.

Discoloring Foods

Acidic foods and food and drinks which leave a stain on your teeth shouldn’t be the most ideal to eat and drink during your procedure.

Not only the teeth they may also leave a stain on your bands.

While they do not hinder your treatment, the staining can look unappealing.

Hence, you should avoid the likes of tea, coffee, berries and beets.

biting apple with front teeth

Foods That Require Biting From The Front Teeth 

You cannot avoid biting food from your front teeth in a few food items.

However, it is not great to do so when you have your braces on as putting pressure on your front teeth can make the brackets loose and the wires may bent.

Hence, you should avoid putting pressure on the front teeth by cutting food into small pieces.

You can still eat corn but not on the corb.

Similarly do not directly bite into your apple rather slice it down thinly.

This way you can still enjoy these foods while avoiding harm to your teeth and jaw during treatment.

Hard Food Items

Crunchy vegetables are healthy for your teeth otherwise but not the most ideal during orthodontic treatment.

Hard and crunchy food items like nuts, popcorn, bagels, chips and pretzels can bend the metal wires.

Moreover, they can also cause the brackets and bands to loosen up.

What’s worse is that they can usually get stuck inside the brackets.

Not only is that painful but also hard to remove.

Hence, eating these foods increases your chances of getting tooth decay.

Go for alternatives such as cook vegetables to make them soft or eat soft popcorns that do not have hulls.

Try to avoid or lessen all these food and drinks during your treatment so that it goes smoothly.

You can always go back to eating the food you like as soon as your treatment ends anyway.

playing sports with dental braces

Dental Braces Concerns

Besides maintaining oral hygiene and taking care of the food you eat and avoid.

You also need to know about a few concerns during your treatment.

Such as:

  • Playing Sports

You or your child can easily play sports with braces on but also wear a mouthguard for protection.

Your teeth, with or without any orthodontic appliance are vulnerable to the hits and pushes during sports.

Though, it can be extremely painful in a mouth full of metal wires and brackets.

Hence, if you wear a mouthguard, you are protecting your lips, cheek and teeth from injury.

  • Loosening of Teeth, Brackets and Wires

The teeth do loosen up during the procedure because they will their position changes.

However, once the procedure is over your teeth will no longer feel loose and with the help of a teeth retainer, they will stay in place.

Hence, if your teeth feel very loose then that is perfectly normal.

To align your teeth, the crooked teeth move.

Though, if your metal wire or band protrude then they have come loose because of something hard or chewy that you ate.

Be careful regarding what you eat!

If the protruding wire hurts the cheeks and irritates you then try to reduce the irritation by placing wet cotton on it, however, it is best to visit your dentist at the soonest.

  • Irritation and Soreness

When you newly get braces your mouth, lips and tongue will feel irritation and slight soreness.

The soreness can last for about 5 days and you can overcome it by taking pain medicine prescribed by your dentist.

However, the irritation can last up to 2 weeks till your mouth adapts to the dental braces.

You may get blisters and mouth sores too.

Though, using a salt and water rinse can help relieve the irritation.