Braces are a great way to achieve a beautiful smile, but caring for your teeth requires some modifications when you have braces. Daily oral hygiene practices can be more challenging when you have braces. For instance, maneuvering a toothbrush or dental floss around the brackets and wires can be difficult. An orthodontist can give you specific tips on caring for your smile when you have braces, such as how best to clean your teeth or which types of foods to avoid. Dr. Joseph Kizior is your orthodontist for braces in Western Springs, IL.
Types of Braces
In the past, braces consisted of metal brackets and wires applied to the front of the teeth. Today, different types of braces are available. Metal braces are still an option, but they are not the only choice. Ceramic braces are applied to the front of the teeth like traditional braces but are clear so they are more discreet. Another discreet option is lingual braces, which are applied to the back of teeth. Finally, aligner trays offer a modern alternative to brackets and wires for straightening teeth. They are both clear and removable, offering another discreet option.
Caring for Your Smile with Braces
Braces consisting of brackets and wires pose special challenges to caring for your teeth. For instance, food particles can more easily become trapped between the brackets and wires when eating. Additionally, the brackets and wires can interfere with the ability to thoroughly brush and floss. There are steps you can take, though, to properly care for your smile when you have braces. Your Western Springs, IL, orthodontist can provide more specific details, but some steps you can take yourself include:
- Avoiding sticky foods and treats, such as chewing gum.
- Avoiding biting into especially hard foods, such as hard candies.
- Eliminating such habits as biting on fingernails or the ends of pens or pencils.
- Trying a floss threader to floss between teeth even when wires are in the way.
- Using an interdental toothbrush or proxabrush to clean around brackets, bands and wires.
- Wearing a mouthguard when participating in certain sports.
Caring for your smile when you have braces involves maintaining good oral hygiene habits and avoiding certain types of foods. Dr. Kizior, your Western Springs, IL, orthodontist can advise you on the best way to care for your teeth with braces. To schedule an appointment, call the office at (708) 246-1000.