Orthodontics will change your life for the better
But in the meantime, there are some changes that will happen in your everyday life as you get used to your braces. Taking proper care of your appliances will ensure your treatment stays on track so you can enjoy your new smile as soon as possible.
Eating with braces
You will need to make some changes to your diet while in braces. Foods that are too crunchy, sticky, hard, or chewy can damage your brackets and wires. You can still enjoy most of your favorite foods but will need to make a few adjustments.
Avoid chewy candies, such as Starbursts, Tootsie rolls, caramels, and bubble gum. Say no to crunchy foods such as popcorn, potato chips, ice. Mark off chewy and hard foods such as pizza crusts, bagels, nuts, and hard candies. You should also avoid foods that you have to bite directly into, such as apples and corn on the cob. These foods can still be enjoyed if they are cut into smaller bites.
Brushing and Flossing with Braces
It’s important to pay extra attention to your oral care while in braces. That means upping your brushing and flossing game so you can be sure to keep cavities and gum disease at bay. In addition to brushing in the morning and at night, you should brush after every meal, as well. This will remove food particles from the nooks and crannies created by your braces. This can not only prevent an embarrassing situation but will also ensure your mouth stays as clean as possible. Be sure you have a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss with you all the time.
Know what to do if an issue arises with your braces
While true emergencies are very rare while in braces, smaller issues may come up over the course of your treatment. Many can be handled at home until you can get to our office.
- Discomfort – This is the most common complaint. Your braces are working to guide your teeth through bone, so there will be some soreness and discomfort involved. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help. Warm salt water rinses and cold compresses can also provide relief.
- Poking wire – Sometimes your wire can shift during treatment. You can fix this at home to prevent irritation until your next appointment. Using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil, gently guide the loose or poking wire back into place. You can then use a small bit of orthodontic wax over the offending area.
- Loose brackets – Sometimes the bonding material that holds your brackets on will fail. This is most commonly due to indulging in foods on the do not eat list, but it can also just happen over time. If this occurs and the bracket is still on the wire, use orthodontic wax to hold the bracket in place. If the bracket has come off completely, place it in a ziplock bag and bring it to your next appointment.
Wear a mouthguard
No matter your age, if you play a sport or are involved in an activity where a blow to the mouth could occur, it is important that you wear a properly fitting mouthguard. This will protect your teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue from injury. Salem Smiles creates custom mouthguards for our patients that provide the highest level of protection.