Understanding dental hygiene is very important, especially if you or your child has recently got braces. If you are really interested in the profession, you may want to read up on how to become a dental hygienist, but if you only want to learn more about dental hygiene so you can help yourself or your kid, we can assist you in this area as well. We have compiled five top tips that are going to help you with your dental hygiene when you have braces.
Brushing and Flossing Properly
Make sure you talk with your dentist about how you are going to floss with your braces. It is not something that comes naturally to most people, so do not feel ashamed or embarrassed about asking. They can show you all the proper techniques and they can even tell you the type of floss that is going to feel better on your teeth and braces. In terms of brushing, dentists always talk about slow and circular motions, instead of rubbing vigorously against your teeth from all angles.
Foods to Avoid
If there are any foods that you have a really hard time chewing, you are going to struggle with them even more when you have braces. For instance, something like popcorn or taffy or caramel candies is going to be a particular struggle. If you do eat these items, make sure you floss soon afterward. But it is better if you avoid them most of the time while you have your braces. In addition, you probably want to avoid foods like bagels and pretzels and nuts as well, because they can get little bits in your teeth also.
Habits to Avoid
We have already talked about foods that you should avoid, but what about other habits? For instance, you should never smoke while you have braces. It is a bad idea in general, in terms of your overall and dental health, but it can really make things complicated when it comes to keeping your teeth clean while you have braces. After all, you cannot exactly get your teeth whitened while you are wearing braces! You may also want to cut down on the amount of coffee you drink, or you can try and use mouthwash soon after you drink coffee to limit its impact on staining your teeth.
What If Something Breaks?
If you do happen to snap something on your braces, do not fret. It happens to everyone that gets braces at least one time. All you need to do is schedule an appointment with your dentist and they will repair the problem without any fuss. If you caused the issue, they may charge you. But if it happened when you were going about your regular routine, you can probably get it fixed for free.
Even after your braces are out, you are going to have to deal with retainers. And you must wear your retainer every night, unless you want your teeth to go back to their original shape. And as long as you brush and floss before you put it on at night, and after you take it off in the morning, you are good to go from a hygiene point of view!