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Why Oral Health Is Important When You Have Braces

Prevent cavities and keep your smile healthy while wearing braces. Here’s how.

While it’s always important to practice good oral hygiene it’s particularly important that you are properly caring for your smile if you have braces. No matter whether you just received traditional braces or Invisalign, our New York, NY, orthodontist Dr. Frank Andolino wants you to adopt these habits every day to prevent cavities and plaque buildup.

Here are tips to follow depending on the type of braces you’re currently wearing,

Traditional Braces

It’s important that you are maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent plaque from building up around the brackets and wires. To reduce your risk for cavities and to keep your braces safe here are some tips to adopt (if you haven’t already),

  • Brush your teeth three times a day. Bring a toothbrush with you so that you can brush no matter whether you are at work or school.
  • While most people need to brush for an average of 2-3 minutes you will want to take a little more time when you brush to make sure that you are cleaning around every bracket and wire.
  • Floss at least once a day, ideally at night right before brushing. While traditional floss may not be the ideal option for you right now, an interdental cleaner can make it easy to get in between teeth to remove plaque.
  • Avoid foods that are crunchy, hard, sticky or chewy. You will especially want to limit sugar to reduce your risk of cavities. Doctor Andolino will provide you with a list of foods that you should avoid and foods that are safe to eat with braces.
  • If, for some reason, you can’t brush after a meal you should at least rinse your mouth out and swish with water for 30 seconds and then brush your teeth as soon as you can.

Clarity, Invisalign and other clear Aligners

If you are an adult or older teen who is currently wearing these clear, plastic aligners you may not think these same rules about oral care apply but they most certainly do. Yes, aligners are removable, which makes it easy to brush and floss, but it’s still important that you are properly caring for your smile and your aligners by following these dental care tips,

  • Make sure that you brush your teeth after eating.
  • Prevent stains from forming on the aligners by cleaning your trays whenever you take them out. Clean your aligners with soap, water, and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse aligners thoroughly with cold water only, as hot water can damage the trays.
  • Avoid certain staining foods and drinks such as coffee, berries, tomato sauce

Maintain a healthy smile while wearing braces and you’ll reap all the benefits of a beautiful smile once your treatment is over. If you are interested in turning to our orthodontist, Doctor Andolino here in New York, NY, to find out if braces are right for you or your teen then call Andolino Orthodontics at (212) 753-5575.

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