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Once your new braces are on, you might have trouble seeing your teeth for all of the hardware in your mouth. But trust us: your teeth are still there, and they still need you to take care of them. Before you have your braces placed, you should see your dentist for a cleaning and exam to make certain that any dental issues have been addressed. While you are wearing your braces, you will still need to keep your regular dental appointments for cleanings and exams. You will need to brush your teeth while you are wearing your braces, but you will need to make some adjustments to your brushing routine.

Before you start to brush, rinse your mouth with water to remove or at least loosen any pieces of food that are stuck in your braces. Normally, it is recommended that you spend two minutes brushing your teeth. However, with braces, you will need to spend a little more time. You will need to brush your gumline first, followed by brushing above and below your brackets. Brush downward above the brackets and upward below the brackets. You should brush one or two teeth at a time.

Flossing is very important when you have braces. However, you may find it harder to do now. If flossing normally is difficult, you should try a floss threader or a water flosser. Hard, and crunchy or soft and chewy foods can be stuck in your braces. Talk to your dentist about what foods you should avoid, and for tips about how to eat while your braces are on.

If you would like to talk to Dr. Holly Krystek about braces, or if you are interested in another dental procedure, call Lifetime Dentistry in Muscatine, Iowa, at 563-263-9082. We’re looking forward to starting you down the road to a bright and health smile.