Metal Maintenance: Caring for Your Braces and Retainers


Orthodontists prescribe braces and retainers to aid with straightening teeth. Retainers serve as metallic casts for your teeth to help correct any misalignment. But for more severe cases, braces are attached to correct any misalignments and prevent further damage from happening.

Having braces and retainers, especially as adults, can be difficult. Braces and retainers require a high level of maintenance, which can be daunting for the uninitiated. In Canton, Williams Orthodontics and other orthodontics specialists advise that following these simple cleaning and maintenance tips can actually help you rid yourself of metal faster.

Cleaning Your Teeth

Brushing with braces is especially important because of food that can get stuck between the ridges and wires. People with braces must brush after every meal to prevent any sort of plaque build-up, which can lead to tooth decay. Fortunately, cleaning your braces and brushing your teeth isn’t that difficult.

Start by rinsing your mouth with water to dislodge loose food particles. Then, with a soft toothbrush with rounded bristles, brush your gum line at a 45-degree angle. Next, clean your brackets by brushing at a downward angle above the bracket and do the same below the bracket. It’s important that you do this to individual brackets to ensure thorough cleaning.

Flossing is incredibly important when you have braces. Don’t forget to floss both in between the brackets and underneath the wire. Use waxed floss to slide the floss in between the gaps more easily.

Dental Diet

If you have retainers, simply remove them before meals. Don’t forget to brush before putting them back. People with braces have to be extremely cautious about the food they eat. Avoid food items that are heavy in starch and sugar, as these can damage your tooth’s enamel further.

Hard food items are also a no-go as far as braces are concerned. Biting down on hard candies, nuts, or frozen items can damage your already brittle teeth. Also, stay away from sticky food like gums and caramels, as these tend to get stuck on the wire and brackets and can be difficult to remove.

Braces take a lot of work not only on your orthodontist’s part but also on your own. If cared for properly, braces can help correct your crooked smile and put you on track to having a metal-free mouth.