Today at River Practise, we want to talk to you about looking after your braces on the go.
Caring for your braces when you’re not in the comfort of your own home can seem like a daunting experience. Whether you’re heading to school or you’re off on holiday, we’ve got some great advice on what you should stock up on while on the move.
The importance of oral hygiene on the go
We all know the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day, it’s fundamental for oral hygiene but when it comes to braces, we have to be even more careful.
Your braces need to be cleaned regularly to prevent any problems, such as the build-up of plaque. Whilst on the move, it’s more than likely that food will get stick in between your brace. Without removal of this, you may experience problems in the long term such as plaque build-up, gum problems, bacterial growth and general bad oral hygiene. You will also probably have bad breath – and we don’t want that on our travels!
With the application of your braces, your orthodontist will talk you through exactly how to brush. If you make sure that you brush your teeth a minimum of three times during the day, you shouldn’t experience any problems.
With this in mind, we are going to be discussing the importance of stocking up on some mouth life savers whilst on the move. Whether you have fixed braces or removable braces, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to keep your teeth in tip top condition.
With fixed braces, small metal or ceramic brackets are bonded to each tooth. These brackets are linked by a thin wire and held in place by elastic rings. Over time, your orthodontist will adjust the wire, resulting in straighter teeth. The process of your braces can take between 6 to 22 months, this means that your braces need to be looked after with extreme care over this long time period.
So what do you need to stock up on while you’re on the move?
Now you have braces, you will need to brush your teeth after every meal, this ensures that your teeth are clean and avoids any problems in the future. Keeping a travel toothbrush on hand will strengthen your oral hygiene.
Give it pride of place in your bag – it will always be there for you after every meal!
It may also be a good idea to keep your toothbrush in a plastic holder to keep your toothbrush clean and tucked safely in your belongings.
New environments such as public bathrooms may have more germs than you’d first expect. Keeping your tooth brush in a clean and sealed container will prevent bacteria entering your mouth and causing problems.
You will also avoid making a mess with a wet toothbrush lying around in your belongings!
Dental wax is a saviour when it comes to fixed braces. At times, brackets can cause irritation to the insides of your cheeks and dental wax can certainly save the day.
The wax creates a barrier between the bracket and your cheeks and lips. It’s usually needed when your braces have just been fitted or recently tightened, as your mouth needs time to adapt to the changes.
Simply roll the wax in between your fingers and form a ball like shape and place over the brace where the irritation is being caused – this will form a great barrier to stop any discomfort.
Pop some in your bag, for those days at school or when you’re away from home. With this in easy reach, you won’t have to worry about suffering from any discomfort your brace may bring.
When your mouth becomes used to the brace, you won’t need to use as much wax. But always keep it on hand as some days you may be in need of this helping hand.
A Tepe brush is great to take on holiday with you, however it should be used regularly at home too.
The Tepe brush is a small interdental brush which removes plaque easily by their long filaments and soft brushes. These brushes make it easy to clean your teeth, and gets into all of the places an average brush may miss.
1450ppm fluoride toothpaste
Ensure you are carrying with you 1450ppm fluoride toothpaste. This will make sure that your teeth are being protected the best they can. This amount of fluoride will prevent tooth decay, cavities and reduces plaque bacteria regrowth.
Head to the travel section at the shop, where you can pick up a travel size toothpaste. This is perfect for popping in your bag while on the go.
Removable braces are used when a minor correction is in need. These non-fixed braces are produced by a plastic plate with wires, moving the teeth over time to the ideal positioning.
Caring for your removable brace can get a little bit difficult, especially in public. But once you get the confidence to clean your brace in public, you’ll be good to go.
You will also find that the advice for fixed braces will also be appropriate for removable braces.
Brushing your teeth after every meal is crucial to maintaining good oral hygiene. Therefore, make sure you head to the bathroom as soon as you can after eating.
Wash your removable brace by brushing it thoroughly, then rinse with cold water. Also, don’t forget to brush your teeth! It is also a great idea to get a separate tooth brush for your removable brace, this will ensure good overall hygiene.
A protective box, usually provided by your orthodontist is great for keeping your brace hygienic. Also, this box will protect your brace from breaking while you are brushing your teeth.
It could also be a good idea to write your name and address on your container. If you lose your removable brace while on your travels, it will hopefully make it back to you. This will save you paying for a new one!
What if I experience problems with my braces?
If you find that your fixed or removal brace has broken – don’t panic.
If it’s a minor problem, you can wait until you get home to see your orthodontist. In the meantime, get hold of your trusty dental wax and apply it to the places which may affect your mouth.
On the other hand, if for example your plate has broken – this could be an issue but don’t worry. Wait until you can see your orthodontist, in the meantime give your dentist a call for recommended advice and guidance until you can see them.
If you have had your braces tightened just before you are on holiday or on the move, then keep some pain relief handy. Paracetamol is an option which will minimise pain from your teeth being pulled and will reduce any discomfort.
Don’t forget to also pack your dental wax, just in case your braces are causing your problems!
Avoiding certain foods
If you are on holiday whilst on the go, it can be hard to keep your eyes away from the many goodies surrounding you!
It’s normal to reach for a chocolate bar to tie you over when you have a busy day ahead. Remember, added sugar in your diet will not be welcomed by your teeth!
Not only will sugar be hidden within your braces, creating a build-up of plaque – it could also cause damage. Braces are delicate therefore refrain from eating hard and sticky food, as this can ultimately break your braces.
There we have it, a few tips to make sure your teeth and brace are kept clean and in good shape on your travels. Whether you’re at school or on holiday, brushing your teeth after every meal is very important. With this in place, the appropriate products such as wax, holders and travel size items are great when it comes to being on the move.
Holidays are certainly for indulging but be mindful about the amount of sugar you are consuming. This reduced amount of sugar will make sure your oral hygiene is well maintained, and you won’t have any problems once your brace is removed.
Remember! If you are at school or on your travels and you experience any problems with your brace such as a breakage – contact your orthodontist as soon as possible for advice.