Taking Care of Your Braces During the Holidays

En Espanol

Even though Christmas is over… we know you all have sweets around the house right before New Years Eve… Don’t forget about those braces; you want them to stay intact and in good shape. The orthodontists at Texas Association of Orthodontists want to ensure that everyone has a fun and enjoyable rest of the year, while keeping your braces and orthodontic treatment in perfect order.

Make sure you start the year knowing when your next appointment is. If you missed your appointment because of the Holidays, and if your home office is closed, add a reminder to the Calendar to make the call once they are open.

Things you might want to avoid

Popcorn is one of the things you most want to avoid; popcorn kernels can pose a huge problem to braces. They can become lodged in your brackets and wires, and it is difficult to remove all the pieces. Popcorn kernels can also cause pain, and in some cases, may cause bleeding in your gums. The holidays are also known for cookies and sticky and hard candy  — sweets no one can resist! You don’t want to have an excess coating of sugar sitting on your teeth for too long, since it can cause decay. Make sure you brush your teeth soon after enjoying your sweet treats.

Tips for Braces Care

Brushing: After each meal and before bedtime, brush your teeth and braces with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. There are special toothbrushes for braces called “interdental toothbrushes” that help get to those hard-to-reach places like under wires, between brackets and in the back of your mouth.

Flossing: Floss at least twice a day or even after each meal. Floss the areas between your teeth — even the hard-to-reach places. Floss threaders can make navigating between the brackets and around the braces easier.

Elastics: If your doctor has provided you with elastics, wear them at all times. The only time you should not wear them is when eating and when brushing your teeth. Make sure you have the correct elastic size as well as some extras just in case you misplace them.  Remember, failure to wear your elastics could increase the treatment time!!

Water Pik: In addition to flossing, you can try the oral irrigation device, known as Water Pik. This device is a waterpower system that mimics flossing. For some, this system minimizes pain and bleeding in the gums, compared to flossing.

Travel Kit: If you are planning to travel during the rest of the holidays, having a braces kit is a great idea. Within this kit, keep a small toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, wax, elastics and a small mirror to check your smile. These are great for the car, backpack, bag, or purse.

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed by all, even if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. By remembering just a few things, you can be sure your new smile stays healthy and your treatment time remains on schedule.

Happy New Year everyone!