Next week, many of us will be enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner with our families. While these celebrations will likely be smaller than usual due to social distancing, that doesn’t mean you’ll be avoiding your favorite holiday dishes. If you have braces, then your orthodontics could make your mealtime challenging. Your Fort Worth, TX, orthodontist has a few tips for protecting your smile (and your braces).
What Happens When Food Becomes Trapped in Braces?
Sugar can be found in abundance in pies, cakes, cookies, cranberry sauce, and other holiday sweets. Starch is a main ingredient in breads, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato-based dishes. Both of these ingredients tend to cling to the teeth, and are likely to become caught in your braces. Bacteria will then break them down, a process that causes higher oral acidity and coats the teeth in both plaque and tartar (calcified plaque), layers that weaken tooth enamel and inflame gum tissues, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
To help keep your smile safe, try to limit the amount of sugar and starchy foods you consume. You also benefit from drinking water with your meal, as this helps cleanse your smile and remove any trapped food particles. If you have aligners, take them out prior to your meal and then floss and drink water before putting them back in again. If you have braces, consider excusing yourself after your meal to use a floss pick or tape to clean any trapped bits of food.
Keep Your Braces Clean
Remember to continue practicing good oral hygiene, even during the holidays. To lower your risk of cavities and gum disease, as well as bad breath and teeth stains, you should make time to thoroughly brush for at last two minutes when you wake up. Do the same before bed, and try to use a fluoride toothpaste if possible. You can rinse with mouthwash, and also floss before bed too. Flossing is especially important, as using a pick or tape could better remove trapped bits of food. These actions help keep your smile safe.
COVID-19 Safety Tips
Make sure you limit your gatherings to immediate family, and avoid large indoor gatherings, where the risk of spreading COVID-19 is higher. This is especially important if you have older family members or people in your circle with compromised immune systems. Wear a mask when around others, and wash your hands frequently too.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ORTHODONTIC CARE?
We want to make sure you enjoy your holiday meal and protect your oral health too. To learn more about correcting uneven teeth, then please call Lake Country Orthodontics in Fort Worth, TX at (817) 236-7846. Our office proudly serves patients who live in Azle, Saginaw, and all surrounding communities.