Top 4 Care Tips for Teeth with Braces or Retainers
Braces, retainers, and other dental appliances are designed to correct the patient’s dental issues; from bite problems to crooked teeth, gaps, and more. Some are only worn for a few months or years while others are more of a permanent fixture. However long they have to be worn, Dr. Kami Hoss reminds patients to take extra care of their teeth. With these dental appliances in place, patients need to be more mindful of their oral and dental health and habits.
If you’re wearing braces or retainers, here are a few care tips that Dr. Kami Hoss would like to share.
For teeth with braces
1. Brush after every meal – Ideally, people with braces should brush their teeth after every meal to wash off the sugars, remove food debris, and prevent staining. Since braces add more “nooks” that food can get lodged into, there’s a higher chance of staining or even plaque buildup. Dr. Kami Hoss also recommends checking the braces and brackets for food that may have gotten stuck there.
2. Use a proxabrush – A proxabrush is a type of toothbrush usually recommended for patients with braces. It has a long stem or handle, with a small, thin brush that is slightly curved or bent. Others call this the “Christmas tree brush” as the shape of the brush itself does look like a Christmas tree. Use the proxabrush after brushing with a regular toothbrush. This one is used to remove food, and other debris stuck in the braces as well as between the wires and the spaces between the braces.
3. Gargle with a fluoride mouthwash – After brushing, patients are advised to gargle with a fluoride mouthwash as it can also help get rid of food particles still stuck in the braces or between the teeth. A fluoride mouthwash can also clean those hard-to-reach places in the mouth as well as clean your gums.
Dr. Kami Hoss reminds patients to refrain from eating hard or chewy foods like apples, nuts, pretzels, corn on the cob, and taffy or caramel as these can loosen the braces. Also, if you’re playing sports, make sure to wear a special mouthguard so the braces won’t cut through your mouth should you get hit while playing.
For teeth with retainers
4. Remove retainers before brushing – Caring for teeth with retainers is easier than with braces. You only have to remove the retainers and then brush as you normally would. It is recommended however that you still floss and gargle with a fluoride mouthwash after brushing.
Dr. Kami Hoss reminds patients that they should also clean their retainers every time they brush their teeth. You can just use water though; no need to use toothpaste on it. It is also recommended that you disinfect your retainer with a denture cleanser at least once a week.
If you wish to learn more about braces, retainers and other dental appliances, please feel free to browse the rest of the blog site. Kindly bookmark this page to stay up-to-date with the latest posts from Kami Hoss.