Many teenagers and adults rely on braces to fix bite issues, straighten teeth, and fix large gaps. Despite their former reputation for being large, protruding inconveniences, braces have certainly evolved over the years, and are now discreet (and in the case of Invisalign, invisible!) alternatives to poor mouth conditions.
However, that doesn’t mean living with them is effortless. It can take time for patients to adjust to the newfound metal in their mouth, and depending on the patient, the troubles can range from having a difficult time speaking clearly to chewing differently than what one is normally used to.
This brings us to an issue that some patients with braces find themselves facing; eating a meal can become a full-blown challenge, especially when having to deal with food that becomes nestled inside the metal lining.
Aside from the discomfort, it can cause for the braces wearer, trapped food is bad from an oral health perspective. Plaque buildup can occur rather quickly, become a breeding ground for foodborne bacteria, and eventually lead to the formation of gum disease and gingivitis, two health conditions you obviously want to avoid at all costs.
That’s not to say that braces themselves cause these issues, however. Braces are a great asset to oral care, but allowing trapped food to remain there for any length of time can start to cause troubles.
So how do you keep those stubborn food particles at bay once and for all?
Brush your teeth and braces after every meal
Instead of the standard twice a day cleaning routine, people who wear braces will want to take a trip to the bathroom every time they’re done eating. Since this may occur while you are on the go, remember to pack a travel toothbrush!
Use antiseptic mouthwash regularly
Oral rinses are essential for ousting stubborn bacteria and reaching areas that brushing and flossing alone cannot. Swishing a bit of mouthwash around two or three times per day will ensure the swift removal of any food or germs stuck inside the crevices of your braces.
Carry a pocket mirror with you throughout the day
It can be hard sometimes to tell whether food is present on your braces, especially if the particles are small and inconveniently lodged out of sight. Using a small mirror will allow you to thoroughly check your mouth when need be.