Brushing and flossing removes plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. If plaque is not removed regularly it could lead to tooth decay. When shopping for oral care products, look for those that have the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance, an assurance that the product meets the ADA's criteria for safety and effectiveness.
Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. Worn toothbrushes won't clean teeth properly.
Patients with braces should maintain a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. Your dentist may recommend avoiding certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires. These foods may include nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice and sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel or other chewy candy.
A protective mouth guard is recommended for sports and other activities that may result in injury to the mouth or jaw. Your dentist can suggest an appropriate mouth guard when the braces are in place.