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Braces in Washington, DCIt’s very important to keep your braces clean during orthodontic treatment. It can be very difficult to brush, floss, and keep your braces free of food and debris. Many people say taking care of teeth with braces takes three times as long as taking care of teeth without orthodontic gear. Here are a few tips to make braces hygiene easier:

Flossing
Use waxed floss (unwaxed floss is more likely to get caught and shred in your braces), dental tape or a product specifically designed to clean around your braces. Carefully thread the floss under the wire of the braces, then between two teeth. Then remove the floss and repeat.

Brushing
Brushing with braces is not all that different than brushing without braces. It is more important to brush your teeth at every opportunity after eating. Be sure to clean each tooth individually and spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth, brushing in a set pattern so that you don’t miss any teeth. Make sure the metal is shiny when you are done.

Using Elastics
Elastics are important in making sure your braces are in place and moving your teeth as they should. They should be worn at all times, except only when brushing your teeth, gums and braces after meals. Removing them while cleaning your mouth lets you get a deeper clean.

Addressing Damage Immediately
If your elastic breaks, food becomes lodged or damages the metal, contact your orthodontist immediately. The longer you wait to address damage, the more it can hurt your gums, teeth, or hygiene.

Braces Friendly Foods
Most foods can be eaten normally. There are certain foods, however, that can break or loosen braces and should be avoided, such as:

• Hard or tough-to-bite foods, such as apples or bagels
• Chewy foods, such as taffy or caramels
• Corn on the cob
• Hard pretzels, popcorn, nuts, and carrots
• In addition to foods, do not chew ice or bubble gum.

If you are having difficulties keeping your braces clean, call University Centre Dental Associates to make an appointment today.