The Sworn Enemies of Oral Appliances
Straightening teeth and getting a healthy bite can be an uphill battle. To keep oral appliances clean and working properly, it’s incredibly important that you keep their sworn enemies at bay.
Jawbreakers and Jollyranchers
Hard candy can absolutely wreak havoc on oral appliances. Hard candy can expose teeth to an extended sugar attack. Hard candy dissolves slowly, which allows bad bacteria longer access to the sugar they need to survive and cause havoc on teeth. This can lead to more cavities and tooth decay. Hard candy can also crack wires, dislodge brackets, and even crack teeth. It’s best to avoid hard candy while wearing an oral appliance.
Hard candy to avoid: suckers, candy drops, lemonheads, hard candy sticks, candy canes, jawbreakers
Nuts are very hard, and can do real damage to oral appliances. They can destroy rubber bands, wires and even brackets! If you have braces, then it’s best to avoid nuts that can damage your oral appliance. Nuts may be great for teeth, but they are awful for oral appliances, so it’s best to avoid them while wearing an oral appliance.
Nuts to avoid: hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, macadamias, cashews
Chips, Crackers and French Fries
Starchy foods easily get stuck on teeth, and provide bad bacteria with sugar, which powers the bacteria to multiply and attack enamel. This problem is made worse by dental appliances, because starchy foods can easily get stuck in them and continually attack the surface of teeth. This makes the acidic attacks last longer, and has a more negative effect on teeth. If you eat starchy snacks like chips or crackers, then rinse your mouth out with water to get rid of any excess food debris.
Starchy snacks to avoid: pretzels, cheese puffs, bread, tortilla chips, crackers
Candy that Sticks to Teeth
Sticky candy is difficult to remove from teeth, and gives cavity-causing bacteria more time to eat away enamel. Sticky candy also sticks to wires and brackets and can pull them from your teeth, which increases the time that teeth are spent contacting sugar. This can erode tooth enamel, and lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Sticky candy to avoid: caramel, jelly beans, gummy bears, taffy, bubblegum
Clean Your Appliance Properly
Most orthodontists advise brushing 4 times per day: in the morning after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, after dinner and at bedtime. The extra brushing ensures that your mouth stays debris-free, and helps to fight cavities and potential damage to your oral appliance.
Cleaning your teeth and your oral appliance can be tough, so we suggest using proxabrushes or floss threaders to clean the hard-to-reach spots in between tooth and appliance to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay.
Visit Our Office
Each oral appliance is unique, and requires different maintenance and upkeep. If your child or teen is having a difficult time cleaning their oral appliance, then visit our office. We’ll help them learn more about proper appliance care, and what they need to do to get the healthiest smile possible.