Braces are still commonly used to help straighten teeth and give you a beautiful smile, and of course your orthodontist will give you personalized recommendations for how to care for your teeth when you have braces. However, there are some things that every adult and child with braces on their teeth should remember when it comes to caring for their teeth and those braces themselves. Note the following.
A person should always floss their teeth even when they have braces, but they will also need to floss between the wires and brackets of the braces as well. Very often an orthodontist will need to give you an orthodontic flossing pick that is meant to be used under and around the wires and brackets of braces, but if you don't have one, be sure to thread standard floss around the wires and clean them from behind.
It's important to brush after every meal and snack when you have braces, and this includes even after eating something small such as a piece of fruit or candy. When food gets stuck in the braces this can cause tooth decay, and saliva may not rinse out these particles as it does when food is between teeth. A quick brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush is all you need to keep your braces clean but it's vital you do this every time you eat.
Rinsing also becomes more important when you have braces because of how food particles get stuck between wires and brackets. If you don't have time to brush after eating, be sure to rinse your mouth with mouthwash or another product recommended by your orthodontist. You also want to rinse at night so you know your braces are as clean as possible.
Hard foods can break the wires and brackets of your braces, and soft and sticky foods can be more likely to get trapped in between those wires and brackets. If you must have hard foods like carrots, nuts, or apples, cut them into very small pieces first. Be sure you have sticky foods such as caramel and taffy in small amounts so you can easily chew them in the back of your mouth, away from your braces. You also want to inspect and clean your braces right after eating these foods, and call your orthodontist right away if you notice a broken wire or have any food particles stuck in the braces that you cannot easily remove.