If you or your child just got braces, congratulations! You’ve taken the first step toward a straight, beautiful smile. If you are new to wearing braces, you may not realize that caring for braces is different from caring for “naked” teeth – it requires special tools and extra steps. But don’t get overwhelmed with braces care. Here are the tools you need in your orthodontic care toolbox.
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
You will never not need a toothbrush, no matter if you have braces or not. The challenge with braces is cleaning around the brackets as well as cleaning the brackets themselves. Failure to properly clean the teeth while undergoing orthodontic treatment not only increases your risk of tooth decay, but can also cause white spots on the teeth called orthodontic white spot lesions, or WSLs. After spending all that time getting your teeth aligned, the last thing you want is for them to be discolored.
Floss and Threaders
Floss is essential to a healthy mouth. In fact, if you’re not flossing you’re missing about 30 percent of the surface of your teeth. But flossing can be difficult even under the best of circumstances, let alone with braces. That’s why we recommend using a disposable device called a floss threader, which will allow the floss to be threaded underneath the wire in your braces to reach the gumline.
You may wonder why you need a water flosser if you’re already using dental floss or threaders. But water flossers are a great complement to traditional floss and can help remove some plaque and debris from between the teeth. For braces wearers, a water flosser is best used to clean away the plaque and debris from your braces brackets.
Because the teeth shift with braces, they can often cause pain weeks after adjustment in the form of poking wires. These wires can rub against your cheek, causing injury. That’s where dental wax comes in. Dental wax is soft, pliable wax that can be put directly onto a poking wire to insulate that wire from the rest of the cheek. Of course, this is just a temporary fix, so if you find yourself needing to use wax to avoid pain, call Dr. Lesko’s office and schedule an appointment to have the wire adjusted.
For more information or questions or concerns about your braces, call Dr. Lesko’s office at 970-221-5115.