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Braces are designed to realign your teeth by applying progressive tension to them. This effectively stretches the periodontal ligaments that are anchoring each tooth in the socket. Each adjustment will bring the teeth one step closer to your ideal smile. If you develop tooth decay issues or if your braces are damaged in some way, the resulting complications can increase the length of time it takes to achieve your ideal smile. To help you maintain your braces and good oral hygiene, your orthodontist, Dr. Kirby Nelson & Eugenia Lee, offers the following insights.

Certain activities and foods can pose a threat to your braces, potentially bending wires, loosening brackets and pulling spacers out of place. This is most commonly caused by chewing gum or eating sticky foods. However, you should also be mindful of biting and chewing hard foods because this can also cause significant damage. This includes bad habits like nibbling on pencils or pens or crunching on ice.

If a damaged piece of hardware creates a sharp point that threatens to injure your mouth, you should secure it inside orthodontic wax. If you don’t immediately have the wax on hand, you can improvise with a pencil eraser. Once your mouth is protected from harm, you should call Dr. Kirby Nelson & Eugenia Lee to have your braces repaired as soon as possible.

Maintaining your daily oral hygiene routine is very important for preventing cavities and maintaining healthy gums. If you’re having trouble cleaning around the braces or flossing the spaces between your teeth, you might want to try using interdental brushes or a floss threader loaded with waxed dental floss.

If you have questions about how to maintain your braces in North Bend, Washington, and good oral health, you can always call (425) 888-1896 to speak to someone at Kirby Nelson Orthodontics.