With the arrival of Easter on Sunday, we wanted to remind our patients about some of the challenges with braces and candy. Sugar, and especially candy can be more troublesome to deal with for those wearing braces. Some candies have a tendency to stick to brackets and wires more so than others. In fact, candy that is particularly sticky or nutty can even damage your braces.
Candies like these don’t just get stuck in braces; they can become embedded in the wires which can loosen or distort them. Some of the worst offenders include:
- Jelly beans
- Jaw breakers
- Nutty bars containing peanuts or almonds
It’s best to stick with softer type candies such as peanut butter cups or plain chocolate bars. Fortunately, a chocolate Easter bunny would be an example of a great choice of candy for someone wearing braces!
Dental Hygiene Challenges for Braces and Candy
Sugar from candy can cause cavities and this is especially true if you have braces since the candy can sit against your teeth for hours after eating. It hides in all of the nooks and crannies which can cause bacteria to quickly form and lead to tooth decay.
Practicing good dental hygiene habits consistently will ensure that your teeth stay healthy throughout the treatment duration of your braces so that once you have them removed, you will have both a beautiful and a healthy smile!
We recommend brushing twice a day AND after every meal. It’s a good idea to have an arsenal of tools on hand to help to keep your teeth clean and healthy such as:
- Soft toothbrush (be sure and replace every three months)
- Waxed dental floss
- A gentle mouthwash that kills bacteria to rinse with
- An interproximal brush (this is a kind of tooth brush that looks similar to a pipe cleaner)
- Floss threader
Start out by brushing your teeth in small circular motions and be sure to spend about 2 minutes thoroughly brushing. Don’t forget the inside of your teeth as well. Brush the roof of your mouth lightly and also your tongue. This will help loosen and wash away any bacteria that might be lurking about.
Next, use your interproximal brush gently to get down between braces and make sure that any food buildup is removed. Work around and between your braces but use a light touch so that you don’t damage them.
And lastly, after rinsing your mouth out with water, rinse with a mouthwash that helps to kill bacteria.
Following these steps every day will help keep the cavities away! And don’t forget to see your dentist every 6 months for a checkup and teeth cleaning. Having braces does require a few extra steps in your hygiene routine. Just always remember to keep the end goal in mind – a beautiful and healthy new smile!
From Dr. Taylor and the staff at A Perfect Smile Orthodontics, we’d like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and a fun filled day spent with family and friends. May the miracle of this sacred holiday bring each of you peace and happiness!