The holidays are always busy. In between tasks like cleaning the house, planning menus, grocery shopping and wrapping presents, it can be easy to forget self-care like flossing. If you or anyone in your family has braces, though, it is crucial to remember to maintain good dental hygiene — even when you’re busy. Here are our best tips to take care of your braces and keep a healthy, strong smile throughout the holiday season:
When a patient gets braces, their orthodontist gives them a list of “bad” foods that might damage the brackets or wires. This list generally includes all of the usual suspects like whole apples, popcorn and gum.
But there’s also a little-known list of foods that make braces maintenance more difficult. When you’re bouncing from feast to feast, avoiding or limiting any foods that are sticky, tough, chewy, crunchy or hard can help preserve your braces.
It is more important than ever to keep your teeth healthy and strong when orthodontia is involved. Because teeth are moving, it’s crucial to keep them in tip-top shape so you can have a perfect smile when the braces come off! That means you can’t skip brushing or flossing, even when you’re busy.
Keep a little travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and floss threaders with you at all times. Excuse yourself after a meal to clean up and remove any food debris from between your brackets.
At the end of the day, be sure to rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. All of the rich foods and sweets you consume during a typical holiday feast can wear heavily on your tooth enamel. The fluoride helps reach any spot you may have missed flossing and brushing while simultaneously strengthening your teeth.
Invisalign aligners require different care than more traditional metal braces. For example, you don’t have to worry about “bad” and “good” foods because you can take the aligners out to eat foods that are particularly hard or sugary. This protects the surface of the aligners and lets you enjoy the feast!
Be sure to brush, floss and rinse before you put your aligners back in. You don’t want any food debris to be caught in the aligners. We recommend carrying the same oral hygiene travel set as those with metal brackets.
Orthodontia shouldn’t get int he way of a festive holiday. If you take care of your braces, you’ll be able to enjoy the food and your beautiful, straight smile.