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Adjusting to Life with Braces

Now that you have braces, you will have to change up some of your routine activities to accommodate them. The best way to ensure a clean, healthy smile is to keep up with your oral hygiene. Sims Orthodontics of Pensacola, Florida wants you to be armed with all the information you need to adjust to life with braces, so use these tips for a trouble-free transition.

Brushing

Excellent oral hygiene is a must with braces! Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small strip of fluoride toothpaste, brush your teeth in small, circular motions to reach the food particles that may be under your gum line. Be sure to also brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse. Expect to spend several minutes brushing your teeth; your investment will pay off!

During orthodontic treatment, you should brush your teeth four times a day for the best results:

  • After breakfast
  • After lunch or right after school
  • After supper or dinner
  • At bedtime

As soon as the bristles on your toothbrush begin to fray or show signs of wear, replace your toothbrush with a new one. We will provide you with special toothbrushes, toothpaste, and mouth rinses to help you achieve a beautiful smile.

Flossing

Dental floss should be used to remove the food particles between your teeth that cannot be cleaned by a toothbrush. Flossing takes more time and patience, especially while wearing braces, but it is extremely important to floss every day to maintain a healthy smile! You can floss properly and effectively with or without a floss threader by following these tips:

Using a Floss Threader:

  • Measure out a small length of floss and wrap it around your index fingers, leaving only about two inches between your hands.
  • Push the floss between your teeth and pull it into a curve around the base of your tooth so that it gently wraps under the gum line.
  • Slide the floss upward from the base to the tip of the teeth several times, and repeat this for both sides of each tooth.

Without a Floss Threader:

  • Pull a small length of floss from the dispenser and wrap the ends tightly around your middle fingers.
  • Guide the floss between all the teeth to the gum line so that you are thoroughly removing all food particles.

You should floss at night to ensure your teeth are clean before you go to sleep. When you first begin flossing around your braces, your gums may bleed a little, which is normal. If the bleeding does not stop or go away after the first few times, let us know about it at your next appointment.

Food Restrictions

There are certain foods that you will need to avoid while you are wearing braces. Chewy, crunchy, and sticky foods, such as ice, hard candy, caramel, nuts, and taffy, can distort or break your braces, which can result in longer, additional treatment.

Remember, braces are temporary, so you won’t have to stay away from these foods forever. By doing your part now, you are less likely to need extra repair appointments and are helping to reduce your time in braces. If you have other questions regarding food and drink restrictions, feel free to contact us.