Proper dental braces care starts with basic oral hygiene. If regular brushing and flossing aren’t continued after the device is in place, there will be discoloration or tooth decay present once the correctors are removed. Plaque and tartar have a tendency to build up in the space between brackets and must be removed every night to prevent long term issues. In addition to hygiene, the wearer will need to avoid some foods and high impact activities unless the proper precautions are taken.

When brushing, use a soft bristle brush and move it in a circular motion to clean each area. Thoroughly brushing will help clear out any food and plaque on the tooth surface. To eliminate plaque between brackets, use a proxabrush, which is specifically designed to remove plaque from these areas. Flossing is another important part of dental braces proper care, and should be done by carefully feeding the floss between the wire and gums. Use a back and forth motion to clean out plaque and don’t pull forcefully around the wire.

Some foods and activities should be eliminated or moderated to prevent the brackets and wires from breaking or loosening. These include sticky foods like caramel, gum or taffy, hard items like pretzels, nuts or carrots, and difficult to bite foods like apples and corn on the cob. Most of the time, cutting food into small pieces will minimize the risk of damage, so this should be done when in doubt. High impact physical activity is generally okay when wearing a corrective device, but the patient should keep a mouth guard in place in the event of a major collision.