How to Care for Your Braces

Orthodontic care — specifically braces — solves a host of problems, including crowded or crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, and bite problems. The exciting thing is that braces treatment options are more diverse than ever before.

Dr. Mehdy Rad, Dr. David Rad, Dr. Carmine Petrarca, and the whole RAD Orthodontics team are dedicated to evaluating your situation, whether you’re a child, teen, or an adult, explaining your treatment options, and helping you decide what route is best for you.

No matter what type of braces you opt for, they all require special care, and you need to be consistent. We walk you through your care routine and are available anytime to answer your questions. As we treat you, you’ll see why we placed on the Top 20 Dentist list in Bethesda Magazine!

Your care routine depends on which type of braces you have

Our braces treatment options include:

1. Metal braces employ brackets and archwires to shift your teeth; small elastics connect the brackets to the archwires.

2. InvisalignⓇ braces are transparent plastic aligners — one aligner tray for the bottom of your mouth and one for the top.

3. Self-ligating braces have brackets that are joined to the archwire directly and have no tiny rubber bands, like traditional braces.

4. Incognito™ hidden braces are placed on the backsides of your teeth so they can’t be seen.

5. EmpowerⓇ Clear braces are ceramic, have no elastics, and clips are used to connect the wires.

Your braces do most of the work in correcting your smile imperfections, but you have an important part to play in the success of your treatment, and it’s all about practicing great oral hygiene.

How do you care for braces properly?

Each type of braces requires slightly different maintenance. The chief goal, no matter which type you have, is keeping them free of food debris that leads to tooth decay.

If you take exemplary care of your braces, the chances of losing or breaking pieces and needing replacement and repair are reduced.

We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to care for every type of braces:

  • Metal braces care involves keeping your teeth scrupulously clean. Brushing thoroughly around your brackets and wires after every meal and snack is best. Place special emphasis on the surfaces of your teeth that are covered to discourage discoloration and plaque buildup.
  • Be sure to floss at least once daily and use a fluoride mouth rinse. Examine your teeth and braces diligently so you can spot potential problems with your hardware.
  • And don’t go rogue on us with what you eat! Stick to safe foods and steer clear of sticky or hard foods like gooey candy, gum, or nuts. Cut hard fruits and veggies into smaller pieces, and resist the urge to use your teeth to do anything but eat. This means no ice chewing or using your teeth to open a jar.
  • Incognito braces require you to be mindful of the same things as those who sport traditional metal braces. Keep your teeth very clean and do periodic inspections with the help of a small mirror.
  • Invisalign clear aligners are kept in your mouth anywhere from 20 to 22 hours per day, but the easy part about them is that you gently remove them entirely to care for your teeth — there are no bracket and wire barriers covering any parts of your teeth.
  • Oral care with aligners is similar to what you do without braces, simply brushing twice a day and flossing daily. You need to clean your aligners also. Simply brush and rinse them.
  • Self-ligating braces care still requires that you brush after every meal, floss daily, and use a fluoride rinse, but the cleaning process is a bit simpler and easier because the tiny rubber bands on traditional braces tend to be more stubborn about holding onto food. You don’t have that hassle with self-ligating braces.
  • Empower clear braces require extra diligence with cleaning because even though clips rather than elastics are used to connect the brackets, each bracket covers a larger surface of your tooth than metal braces.

No matter what type of braces you wear, it’s important to protect them and your teeth from blows if you play sports. Always remember to wear a mouthguard to prevent injury to you and damage to your braces.

Arm yourself with the right tools too. When you care for your braces, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Finally, don’t skip visits to your visits here for regular check-ups, adjustments, and maintenance!

We’re here for you

The RAD Orthodontics team is always available to help, in person or virtually, if you have questions or concerns. Contact us at the office that’s most convenient for you or reach out to us on our website.

Also, if you come for an in-person visit, we’re practicing COVID-19 safety protocols and screenings to ensure your safety.

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