If you have recently received ceramic braces to straighten your teeth, you may wonder if there is anything you shouldn't do that could damage them. Make sure you avoid the following mistakes while caring for your ceramic braces.
Neglecting to Brush Your Teeth after Eating
While it is always a good idea to brush your teeth several times a day, especially after eating meals, it is especially important to do so when you have ceramic braces. The porous surfaces of the braces are more prone to staining.
Additionally, the tiny gaps under the braces can trap food, allowing sugars and bacteria to come into direct contact with your tooth's enamel. If these particles are not cleaned away every time you eat, even if it is a snack, you increase the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Eating Stain-producing Foods
Along with neglecting to brush your teeth every time you eat, another mistake you should avoid while wearing ceramic braces is to eat any stain-producing foods. The material can quickly soak up certain foods, discoloring your braces and making them more noticeable.
While you are wearing these braces, stay away from foods such as tomato-based sauces, mustard, and dark-colored berries. As far as liquids go, you will have to give up your coffee or dark colas until you have your braces removed. If you simply cannot do without these beverages, keep them to a minimum and use a straw while drinking.
Using Teeth-Whitening Toothpaste
If you do indulge in a stain-causing food or drink and find that your braces have become stained, you may be tempted to remedy the problem by using teeth-whitening toothpaste or treatment. However, you should never use a whitener on your ceramic braces.
The surface of the ceramic material is easily scratched when exposed to harsh abrasives. Since most teeth-whitening toothpaste contains grit to remove stains from your enamel, they can damage your braces. Once the scratches are made, they expose the material below the surface, allowing more absorption of stain-producing foods and beverages.
Not only does whitening toothpaste create scratches, but the chemicals in them could dissolve the compound holding the braces in place. If you do end up with stained braces, speak with your dentist about safer ways of dealing with tooth discoloration.
Avoiding the above mistakes can help keep your ceramic braces stain- and damage-free while you are wearing them. For more information about taking care of your ceramic braces, speak with your dentist for personalized advice.