How to Take Care of your Teen Braces

By: Clint Jhonson

More and more teenagers are getting teen braces today than ever before. The concept of beauty and hygiene has put more emphasis on healthy and straight teeth. If you have teen braces, you most likely know, by now, how important it is to take care of not only your braces, but your teeth and your gums as well. You need to have enough discipline and be responsible for keeping your braces clean and in very good condition.

The most important factor in taking care of your gums and teeth with teen braces is to have your regular orthodontic brushing and flossing. This means that you have to brush your teeth every after meal and before going to bed. Brushing your teeth can not be over-emphasized. You should remember that the metal brackets and the wires of your teen braces are excellent places for bacteria and plaque to hide. Food particles trapped inside the crevices can easily form cavities. Your orthodontist may prescribe a 4% fluoride toothpaste or gel to brush with. Increased fluoride content can help strengthen your teeth further, avoid cavities and get you straight teeth a lot sooner.

There are quite a large number of teenagers who dread brushing their braced teeth. This can lead to very disastrous results. Why? Food will most likely get caught inside their braces, cavities will form before you know it, and your breath will smell really awful. Tooth decay and cavities may also lead to gum disease. It is important that you are aware of these precautions so you know what you are risking.

Some orthodontists may give special kinds of toothbrush which will be able to brush hard to reach areas such as those under the wires and in between brackets. You may also be prescribed cleaning tools such as interdental brushes, waterpik, rubber tips, electric toothbrush, and floss threaders, among others. For best protection, use these cleaning tools and enjoy the straight teeth that teen braces promise.

Flossing is mandatory with teen braces. Floss threaders are very useful in flossing under the wires. You can even use your regular dental floss and slip the thread right under the wire. Furthermore, if you have a biteplate, a retainer or some other removable appliance installed, you may need to take one more step to clean them. You should clean them by scrubbing with baking soda, some toothpaste or a denture cleaner.

Of course, there are certain foods that you need to avoid to make sure you don't break your teen braces or pull them off by accident. Never eat something sticky, overly crunchy, hard, or gooey. Make sure you cut up big pieces of apples or carrots in bite sizes. Chewing ice, hard candies and gums are best avoided. Lastly, smoking is highly discouraged with braces as they tend to discolor teeth. Once your teen braces are removed, you may see a little white square on every discolored tooth. You may have straight teeth at the end of the time period, but you may need to go through another round of bleaching treatment to fix this problem.

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