F&B [Food & Braces] (Part IV)


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In Part III of F&B Food & Braces, we looked at how to manage the pain of a newly installed/recently adjusted braces. In Part IV, we will look at how to take care of the braces and teeth.

* Floss regularly

Braces make it difficult to floss the teeth as the metal brackets restrict the movement of the floss. However, wearing braces makes it all the more important to floss the teeth since food can get caught in between the teeth or around the brackets. Trapped food can cause discomfort and may lead to tooth decay. To remove trapped food, the floss should be fed underneath the wire. Products such as floss threaders can be used to make the process easier. Also, a C-shape should be formed around each tooth to thoroughly remove all food particles.

* Brush regularly

Brushing is important for maintaining good oral hygiene and removing the food particles and debris in the mouth. The food particles may cause pain for tender mouth and gums and good brushing practices are essential for effective cleaning. For good brushing practices, a soft-bristle brush should be used to minimise pain, while an interdental brush should be used to clean the spaces between the teeth, brackets and wires. The brushing motion should be performed in an up-down manner toward the tongue, which means downward motions for the upper teeth and upward motions for the lower teeth. Brushing should not be rushed, to ensure that enough time is spent on cleaning all the surfaces of the teeth and to remove the greater amount of plaque and debris spread over the teeth, bracket and braces.