Caring for your teeth and braces

woman with teeth braces

To get the best results from your orthodontic treatment, it’s vital that you keep your teeth clean and healthy.

During your orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to dedicate a little more time to brushing your teeth – making sure you carefully brush around your brackets and between your wires.
We recommend using interdental brushes to make sure you clean right up against the brackets of your brace and you can also use them to clean in between your teeth instead of floss.
Ideally you should be giving your teeth a quick brush after every meal to remove any food debris, which could otherwise encourage decay. If it’s not practical to brush your teeth, the next best thing is to rinse your mouth with some water or fluoride mouthwash.

Disclosing tablets are a great way to make sure your brushing correctly. They contain a dye that clings to plaque (the sticky film of bacteria that we need to brush away every day) so you can see any areas you’ve missed while brushing. Simply chew a tablet, rinse your mouth and any areas of plaque will be revealed.

Visit your dentist regularly.
It’s important to continue to see your dentist for regular dental health checks during your orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontic check-ups aren’t a substitute for a comprehensive health examination.
Your dentist might also recommend more frequent hygiene appointments to keep your teeth clean.
If your teeth aren’t kept clean throughout your treatment, you run this risk of developing cavities, gum disease or white spots (areas of demineralisation).

Brace friendly foods and drinks.
There are certain foods that don’t work well with braces, and you’ll need to say goodbye to anything chewy or sticky, which might knock a bracket off.
You should also steer clear of hard, crunchy foods like apples and carrots, which again could damage your brace’s brackets or wires. If you’re very determined, these can be cut up into bite-sized pieces and chewed using the back teeth.
Ideally try to avoid sugar-laden, fizzy or acidic drinks like cola and wine as best you can. Sugary foods should also be avoided or limited to mealtimes – the bacteria in your mouth love sugar, increasing your risk of acid erosion and decay.

Finally, you’ll want to limit anything that might stain your teeth – revealing small white squares when your brace comes off! Side-step culprits like red wine, coffee and ketchup. If it would stain your t-shirt, it will stain your teeth.