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In most braces cases, you’re looking at an 18 to 30 month commitment to improving your smile. But did you know that this timeframe can be extended based on improper orthodontia maintenance? To avoid tacking more time onto your bracket action, take these three rules as law:

Brush after every single time you eat (yes, even post-snacking!)

Braces create tiny places to trap plaque, which can lead to plenty of dental problems that can either extend the time you wear braces or even compromise your smile permanently once you’ve moved beyond the bracket. Brushing thoroughly after each meal and snack is truly the only way to guarantee you protect your teeth from plaque and bacteria buildup. And if you think brushing is no big deal, consider this: Remnant of food can react as bacteria to the metal in your mouth, which causes a bleaching effect therefore leaving your teeth PERMANENTLY flecked with bright white dots you never wanted. After you brush, rinse with mouthwash and check in the mirror to make sure you’re good to go.

Find the right floss

Regular dental floss was great before you joined the world of orthodontia, but now that you have more crevices and crannies to consider, it’s important to use the most effective tools for the job. Floss threaders and special orthodontic floss can be found at most drugstores and offer the more surefire protection in keeping your braces completely clean and free of all food particles. You should be flossing AT LEAST once a day and again checking in the mirror for the thorough clean necessary in keeping your teeth and gums safe throughout the time you wear your braces.

Say, “See ya later!” to sodas, sweets, and sticky stuff

One of the most difficult parts of dedicating all those months to improving your smile through orthodontics is having to let go of those beloved snacks. Sodas, sugary treats, sticky snacks, and starchy sandwiches all have their sneaky ways of lodging themselves into your teeth when you’re in braces, which can mean they stand between you and the dental wellness you’re working towards. In addition, hard foods like crunchy candies, cheese curls, and popcorn kernels run you the risk of busting your brackets and loosening the wires that connect them. Remember that the sacrifices you’ll make for the limited time you wear your braces will be so worth the beautiful smile awaiting you at the end of your orthodontic journey!


At Birmingham Orthodontics, our mission is simple:  we create smiles.  Not only do we straighten the crooked grin, fix the bite, and adjust the jaw, we also brighten yearbooks, help young people come to like their looks, and give adults the confidence they have wanted for a long, long time.  We also believe in our staff. Our culture of continuous learning has allowed us to host monthly training sessions for each team and bring in leading industry consultants to help keep us ahead of the curve.  Contact us for a free consultation, or any questions you might have.

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