How Do I Take Care Of My Braces?

Just got your braces? Curious about how to take care of them? Dr. Westfall and our Westfall Orthodontics team want to help you take better care of your braces. If you take care of your braces, they’ll take care of you. Our incredible team has locations in Richlands, Abingdon, and Bristol. No matter what kind of braces you have — metal, clear, or Invisalign—our practice understands the importance of maintaining your braces. 


Why Bother? The Importance of Taking Care of Your Braces

Why does our team place so much emphasis on taking care of your braces? The answer is simple: diligent braces care protects your oral health. Even better, proper braces care helps your treatment progress as smoothly and quickly as possible. Neglecting proper care can lead to plaque buildup, cavities, and gum disease (no thanks!). If left unaddressed, these issues can complicate and extend your treatment time. Nobody wants that! 

Also, think about your time! As much as we love to see you, not taking care of your braces means more appointments. Poor braces care or eating the wrong foods can damage your braces. We’re happy to help, but if you’re in our office with broken braces, you’ll move your smile’s goalpost. And not in the direction you want. 

Invest a little extra time into caring for your braces or aligners. When you do, you invest in a healthier mouth and a straighter path to a straighter smile


Caring for Braces: The Basics

No matter what kind of braces you have—metal, clear, or even clear aligners—you must master the care basics. At Westfall Orthodontics, we underscore the cornerstone of braces maintenance: regular cleaning. How? By brushing your teeth after every meal and snack. Why? Proper brushing prevents food particles from getting trapped in your braces. Why’s that bad? It could lead to plaque buildup and cavities. 

Additionally, Dr. Westfall recommends avoiding foods that can damage your braces. Things like hard candies, sticky sweets, and crunchy snacks. These can bend wires, pop off brackets, and set back your progress. Equally important is attending all your scheduled orthodontic appointments. These visits allow our team to adjust your braces and monitor your oral health. Appointments keep your treatment on track. Adhering to these fundamental care practices sets the stage for a successful and enjoyable orthodontic journey.

How Do I Take Care of My Braces?

The Difference in Care: Metal vs. Ceramic Braces

You deserve clarity and answers. Our Westfall Orthodontics team doesn’t want you to be confused about your braces treatment. While metal and clear braces aim to achieve the same dazzling results, their care routines differ slightly. Understanding these nuances will help you keep your braces neat, clean, and in working order. 

Metal Braces

Metal braces are known for their durability and strength. Our Westfall Orthodontics patients ask about them often. Their robust nature means they can withstand most of what daily life throws at them. However, they still need plenty of TLC. 

Brushing around the brackets and wires is crucial, as trapped food particles can lead to plaque buildup and staining. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Softly clean around each bracket, paying close attention to the spaces between the wire and your teeth. Flossing daily with a floss threader can help around the cables. Remember to leave no area is uncleaned. Additionally, we advise wearing mouthguards if you play sports. They’ll help protect your braces from damage. 

Clear Braces

Clear (or “ceramic”) braces offer a more discreet option. They blend in with the natural color of your teeth. While their visual appeal is undeniable, they require more attention to maintain their inconspicuous look. Dr. Westfall suggests staying away from foods and drinks known for causing stains. Skip on coffee, tea, red wine, and certain fruits like berries. 

Just like with metal braces, regular brushing and flossing are paramount. We suggest a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Clean around each clear bracket, removing lingering food particles without scratching your braces. Flossing daily with a floss threader remains crucial for removing junk between teeth and along the gumline. By adhering to these care guidelines, your clear braces will remain as invisible as intended. And you’ll be smiling a new smile in no time flat! 

What About Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, have revolutionized orthodontic treatment. But how are they different than metal or clear braces? They give you a virtually invisible way to realign your teeth. At Westfall Orthodontics, we understand the appeal of this discreet option and the unique care it requires. 

Unlike traditional braces, clear aligners are removable. They simplify your oral hygiene routine. However, this convenience comes with responsibility. It’s crucial to clean your aligners each time you remove them. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush and lukewarm water to prevent bacteria and plaque. Don’t use hot water, as it can harm the plastic. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene by brushing and flossing after every meal is essential before reinserting your aligners. If you don’t clean them, you might unintentionally trap food particles and bacteria against your teeth (yuck!). 


How Do I Take Care of My Braces?

Renew Your Braces Routine at Westfall Orthodontics

Adapting your oral hygiene routine is essential when you’re on the path to a straighter smile with metal braces, clear braces, or clear aligners. Taking care of your braces will help them work their best for you and your smile. Brushing and flossing after each meal should always be a part of your routine, no matter what orthodontic appliance you use. At Westfall Orthodontics, we stress the importance of these adapted routines. That’s true for everyone in Richlands, Abingdon, and Bristol. Visit our site here to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Westfall.