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Life with braces can be a new experience, especially if you love to indulge in your favorite foods. Maintaining oral hygiene while wearing braces can also feel daunting, but don’t let that discourage you.

The good news is that you can still enjoy (most of) your favorite foods while wearing braces and maintaining your oral hygiene at the same time.

In this blog post, we’ll provide tips and tricks on maintaining oral hygiene and still enjoying the foods you love while wearing braces.

Why Oral Hygiene is Important When You Have Braces

Braces are an excellent investment in your oral health and overall health but they do require a bit of special care. Keeping your braces and teeth clean is vital for the health of your teeth and gums and for the success of your orthodontic treatment.

 Here are five reasons why oral hygiene is important to maintain when you have braces.

1. Plaque buildup: Braces make it easier for food particles and plaque to build up on your teeth and around the brackets. It can cause cavities, gum disease, and even white spots on your teeth when the braces come off.

2. Tooth decay: Braces can make brushing and flossing more difficult. If you don’t remove all the food and plaque from your teeth and braces, it can lead to tooth decay.

3. Orthodontic delays: If you don’t maintain good oral hygiene with your braces, it can potentially lead to delays. It can result in longer treatment times and more frequent visits to the orthodontist.

4. Gum disease: If you don’t keep your braces and teeth clean, it can even lead to gum disease. Gum disease can cause inflammation, bleeding gums, and more.

How to Brush and Floss Properly with Braces

1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles can damage the wires and brackets, making them less effective at moving your teeth.

2. Angle your brush. Tilt your brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line to ensure you’re reaching the areas around your brackets and wires.

3. Brush in small circles. Focus on each tooth and the areas between them, making sure to spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth.

4. Floss with care. Flossing can be tricky with braces, but getting the areas between your teeth is vital. Use floss threaders or special orthodontic floss to get the job done. You can always ask your orthodontist about tips and tools that you can use!

5. Rinse with fluoride mouthwash. A fluoride mouthwash can help kill bacteria and strengthen your tooth enamel.

Tips for Enjoying Your Favorite Foods with Braces

Having braces doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite foods! However, you do need to be careful about what you eat and how you eat it. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your favorite foods while still taking care of your braces:

1. Cut Up Your Food

Cutting your food into smaller pieces can make it easier to chew, which is important when you have braces. Avoid biting into hard, crunchy foods, like apples and carrots, as this can damage your braces. Instead, cut them up into smaller pieces and eat them with your back teeth.

2. Chew Carefully

You must be careful not to chew too hard or fast when eating with braces. It can put extra pressure on your braces and cause them to break. Take small bites, chew slowly, and be mindful of your teeth.

3. Avoid Sticky and Chewy Foods

Sticky and chewy foods, like caramel, taffy, and gum, can get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove. They can also damage your braces and make it harder to keep them clean. It’s best to avoid these types of foods altogether.

4. Use a Straw

If you want to enjoy a fizzy drink or a smoothie, try using a straw. It will help keep the sugary liquid away from your teeth and braces, reducing the risk of decay. Ensure you don’t suck too hard on the straw, which can also pressure your braces.

5. Brush After Eating

Brushing your teeth after eating is important, especially when you have braces. Food particles can get stuck in your braces and cause plaque buildup, leading to cavities and gum disease. 

Final thoughts

At Graf Orthodontics, wearing braces is an exciting journey to your perfect smile. You can maintain healthy teeth with proper oral hygiene and some tips for eating your favorite foods. Contact us at Graf Orthodontics if you have any questions or concerns about your treatment. We are always here to help!