Caring For Your Braces

Written by Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD

Braces not only straighten your teeth, but also correct your bite, crooked, crowded or spaced teeth. This helps maintain good oral hygiene. Food cannot easily get stuck between your teeth because they are aligned. However, while wearing braces you must take impeccable care of your teeth.

It is necessary to brush after everything you eat, and to floss 1-2 times per day. You must brush often while wearing braces to prevent getting food buildup around the brackets. This buildup will cause white spots on your teeth. The white spots are demineralized enamel. Colgate Booster Plus is a great toothpaste that your dentist can prescribe if you start getting white spots. If you cannot brush right after a meal, rinse your mouth with water making sure to wash away all food stuck in your teeth or braces. Be sure to perform a detailed cleaning before you sleep at night.

While you have braces on, you will need to avoid eating certain foods. You will mainly need to avoid sticky, hard or chewy food. Some examples: gum, candy, bagels, hard rolls, popcorn, caramels, corn on the cob (you can cut the kernels of the cob and eat them with a fork!), nuts, and ice.

It is important for children who play sports to wear a mouthguard. Custom mouth guards molded to your child’s mouth work best in protecting braces and teeth.

Make sure you make it to your dental appointments, which will be approximately every 4 to 8 weeks. However, be sure to call your dentist if you need immediate care.

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How to Care for Young Children’s Teeth

By: Dr. Srinivasa DMD

Teaching children about oral hygiene at a young age is extremely important. With the right techniques, you can prevent your child from developing cavities.

For children ages 6 months to 2 years old, make sure you use a swallow-safe toothpaste. Use a finger toothbrush (shown below) in a circular motion. Never let young children sleep with a bottle of milk in their mouth, this causes cavities.

Children ages 3-10 need to brush 2 times a day. Make sure you are brushing your child’s teeth after they brush on their own. Children tend to skip their back teeth. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride mouthwash, as fluoride prevents cavities from forming.

Dr. Srinivasa treats children and adults in Secaucus, New Jersey.

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