THERESA SHAVER ORTHODONTICS
Caring For Your Braces
- Dr. Shaver straightens your teeth with an individualized treatment plan.
- Your family dentist helps keep your smile healthy with regular professional cleanings and check-ups.
- You, however, are the one who must take special care of your teeth every single day throughout the length of your treatment — and that takes a little extra time and effort, but will result in a much better orthodontic outcome.
Follow Your Oral Hygiene Instructions
We strongly recommend that you closely follow the oral hygiene instructions provided to you at the start of your orthodontic treatment. These instructions are detailed below for quick and easy reference throughout your treatment.
When you wear braces, it’s very important to carefully brush, floss and thoroughly rinse your mouth after you eat anything — or at least four times a day (after you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and before you go to bed). That’s because braces, wires, bands and even retainers all trap food particles that can cause plaque (say: plak) to build up on your teeth.
Plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. As plaque increases, it becomes gooey white stuff and you can see it and sometimes feel it on your teeth. Bacteria (“Sugar Bugs & Starch Slugs”) live in the plaque. Whenever you eat, the sugars and starches in your food cause the bacteria to produce damaging acids that attack your tooth enamel and gums. With time and repeated acid attacks the tooth enamel breaks down, causing cavities, permanent marks and stains on teeth. Plaque build-up also causes bad breath and gum disease.
To make sure none of these things happen to your smile, make a habit of brushing and flossing after you eat anything. If you can’t brush, at least swish your mouth with water. Swishing with water will help clear your braces of large food particles until you can brush.
Keep your smile healthy. Remember to brush and floss throughout the day, or at least swish when you can’t brush!