braces care

How to Get The Best out of Retainers

So the day has finally come to get your braces off and you can’t wait to show the world your new smile. But did you think of the important role retainers play afterwards? They avoid any shifting and maintain the position of your straight teeth for your perfect smile to last. We have a few tips to properly care for your smile savers that can last you a lifetime:

  • Keep a close eye on them!– Retainers can be very easy to misplace or lose. With that being said, it’s always easier to store them in your case and keep them in a place where you know you can always find them. One common mistake is wrapping them up in a napkin and accidentally disposing of them!
  • Avoid any damaging to your retainer– Keep retainers in a place that’s not too hot or not too dry. The plastic can warp from the heat or crack from the dryness. You should also insert and remove your retainers without flipping it with your tongue to avoid it from breaking.
  • Regularly give them a cleaning– Your teeth get exposed to bacteria and plaque and so do your retainers. To keep them squeaky clean, simply give them a soft brushing as you would with your teeth. To freshen them up even more, give them a soaking in a cleanser that’ll keep them fresh and germ-free. Remember to avoid hot water!
  • Wear as prescribed– If you don’t wear your retainers regularly, your retainers may not properly fit anymore since your teeth have tried moving back to their original position. If gone without them for too long, you may be needing braces again!

Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Braces

A smile is priceless. (Remember that, Mom and Dad, when the first orthodontist bill arrives!) And a straight smile is one of the best things any parent can give their child.

Now that your child has braces, here are a few tips & tricks for taking care of them and – more importantly – for caring for the teeth underneath.

Brushing with braces

Because one of the biggest enemies of healthy teeth is trapped food particles (because they alter the acidity of your mouth and cause decay), it’s extra important for kids to brush often and well during the time that they have braces.  Food can easily get caught in the wires, so kids should brush in small, circular movements with the head of the toothbrush at an angle.

Despite the 2 minutes twice a day rule, kids may need to brush a little longer with braces. After all, it would take you longer to finish a race with obstacles in your way than without. Although braces give you a straight smile in the long run, they’re exactly that – obstacles in the way of the surface of your teeth.

Flossing with braces

On that note, even if your child was a reluctant flosser before, it’s now more important than ever to make it a priority. Make sure to request a floss threader from your orthodontist to avoid all of the frustration of trying to get around the wires without one.  Then, using the threader and a piece of floss, floss between the archwire and your teeth, as well as between your teeth.

Foods to avoid with braces

It’s a tough sacrifice to make (especially as a teenager!), but hard foods and sticky foods should definitely be avoided while wearing braces.  Because of the added chance of food getting stuck in braces, it’s also important to avoid sugary foods as well. (Even without braces, it’s a good idea to avoid sugary foods!)

Here are a few examples of foods to avoid: gum, caramel, Starburst, licorice, ice, nuts, corn on the cob, apples, carrots, hard candies, pizza crust, popcorn, and chips.  If kids want to indulge once in a while, make sure these foods are cut into bite-sized pieces.

(As a side note, chewing on pens, pencils, and fingernails can also damage braces!)

The daily brushing routine is even MORE important with braces! Make sure your kids are brushing every hard-to-reach place.