Dental Braces Maintenance

Published: 13th October 2010
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Dental Braces Maintenance

Standard orthodontic braces utilize metal clips, rubber bands and wires as means to realign and keep the teeth and jaws in a desired position. As essential as it is to maintain proper dental health and function, cleaning and maintenance carries an equal amount of importance. Regular cleaning and maintenance prevents teeth and gums free from bacterial growth, plaque and tooth decay (caries). Braces keep the teeth strong and healthy by providing optimal positioning; but not cleaning races you run the risk of an increased chance of gum infection and tooth decay.

How Often Braces Should Be Cleaned

Brace wearers should clean their braces at least three times a day (cleaning after every meal). Chewing brings about food particles within the braces which then can become trapped in between teeth. These trapped bits of food then become prime food sources for breeding bacteria which then increase the risk of infection and tooth decay if left for prolonged periods of time. Proper maintenance should become ingrained within the user's basic oral care routine. Orthodontists strongly advise that orthopedic brace cleaning occur after every meal.

Instruments to Clean Braces

Aside from the standard toothbrush and floss for basic teeth and gum cleaning, some specialized tools can also be utilized to properly maintain braces. One such instrument is the proxabrush, similar to a toothbrush only that its brush head is shaped like a tiny thin bottle brush or Christmas tree, used to reach the hard to reach areas in between the metal brackets and wires of the brace structure. Another tool required for proper brace maintenance is the interdental brush designed to clean between the braces themselves. A specially prescribed mouthwash may also be suggested by the dentist to remove small pieces of food and as well as plaque deposits.

Cleaning Braces by Brushing and Flossing

Flossing in between braces requires that a piece of floss be inserted through the arch wire between the teeth. Once properly positioned, the floss can then be drawn back and forth across the sides of the teeth. Take care to apply minimal pressure as the arch wire may be dislodged or the gums may be overly irritated in the process.
Use a soft bristled brush when brushing with braces. Using a top-down motion, gently draw the brush lengthwise across each individual tooth and bracket. Use the proxabrush to access areas in between teeth and braces. Repeat for each tooth until all have been cleaned. Use a mouthwash to clear the mouth of any stray bits of food as well as to reduce bacterial levels.

Retainer Maintenance

A retainer should be cleaned at the same time you clean your teeth. Gently brush the retainers as you would your teeth, taking care to clean all areas. Soak the retainers in a denture cleaning solution at least once a week.

Foods to Avoid

Foods such as apples, hard candies, nuts and toffees should be avoided when you have braces as these may damage the wires and break the brackets' cementing. Damage to the brace structure will only serve to prolong treatment as the dentist will have to repair and adjust the braces accordingly after they have been damaged. Sugar rich foods should also be avoided as these increase the chances of tooth decay as well. If such foods cannot be avoided, then it would be best to simply reduce the portions by cutting them up into more manageable portions. This decreases the chances of food getting stuck in between the braces and causing damage.

Damaged or Loose Braces

An orthodontic brace maintenance kit should come with orthodontic wax which is used to keep any loosened wires and brackets in place. This wax may also be used to cover any sharp edges which may cause discomfort and wounding within the mouth. However, loosened or broken rubber bands and wires require a trip to the orthodontist for repair and/or adjustment and replacement.

About Cedar Walk Dentistry

Cedar Walk Dentistry build our practice on quality service. We know your time is valuable and strive to see you at your appointed time. We always take the time to address your questions and concerns. We are committed to educating you about your health conditions and explaining the different treatment options to you. We believe that each restoration we craft is a precision work of art, ready to be used for years of enjoyment.

Visit more about Cedar Walk Dentistry on these site:

Ballantyne Family Dentistry
Ballantyne Dentist



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