Braces can take some time to get used to and you'll have to make changes to your oral hygiene routine to keep your braces in good condition. It's natural to worry about your new braces getting damaged or not looking the way you had hoped they would, but looking after them doesn't need to be time-consuming and it's not difficult once you get into a routine. Here are two things you can do to keep your braces in tiptop condition.
Change Your Brushing Technique
Most people brush using a side-to-side motion, but this can damage delicate components of your braces, such as the springs and bands. You don't want to risk tooth decay by reducing your brushing, so consider changing how you brush your teeth. Using a gentle up and down motion with a smaller brush can prevent damage to your braces. Try using an interdental brush, which has a small head and very soft bristles. This type of brush is small enough to fit behind your braces, so you can clean your teeth thoroughly without brushing on top of your braces. An air flosser can be used to remove food debris from your braces. This is a handheld can that sprays jets of air and allows you to avoid the risk of damaging your braces by trying to remove debris with your fingers or a brush.
Protect Your Braces During Sports
If you play sports, particularly high-impact sports, you will want to ensure your braces are protected so that you can have fun and exercise without worrying about damage to your braces. You can purchase off-the-shelf sports mouth guards, but they aren't compatible with braces, so you'll need to have one custom-made by your dentist. A custom-made mouth guard is relatively inexpensive and will provide a protective barrier around your braces when you're playing sport and exercising. Wearing a mouth guard when playing sport also gives you the reassurance that if you suffer a knock to the mouth and your braces do get damaged, any parts that break off will be caught in the mouth guard.
Wearing braces does not have to be restrictive, but if you have any concerns or if you're struggling with looking after your teeth and braces, let your dentist know. They can demonstrate good oral hygiene practices and recommend oral healthcare products to suit your needs and make looking after your braces and teeth a bit easier.
For more information about braces, contact an orthodontist.