Dental braces are a popular method used to achieve a straighter set of teeth. Ask any patient about their braces journey and they’ll probably say their braces became their best friend (a typical treatment lasts for 14 to 18 months!). Of course, having wires on your teeth is not always comfortable, so here are some tips to make the most of your braces!
- Weird sensations
You’ll usually experience soreness in the first few days. However, the soreness will disappear once you become accustomed to your braces. You might even forget you have them on (I know I did!). Thankfully, any discomfort can be easily relieved with drugstore medicine such as Tylenol or Advil.
- Eating right
Dental professionals advise against three types of food: hard, sticky and small. Hard foods can damage braces because of the pressure and force of biting them down. Meanwhile, sticky foods are problematic as they can lodge between the teeth, on the gums, and between the braces. Lastly, small food can get caught between the teeth and braces and be hard to clean. Sugary, colorful beverages such as coffee, tea or pop should also be avoided as they stain teeth and can increase the prevalence of harmful bacteria. While you might have to avoid your favorite foods while wearing braces, there are always substitutes or alternative ways of preparing them. For example, you can enjoy fresh fruits sliced, or sandwiches and pizza cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Brushing habits
It is more important than ever to brush and floss regularly while wearing braces. Good dental hygiene decreases the chance of food getting stuck between your teeth and on the wires while preventing unwanted food particles from staying in the mouth. It is most ideal to brush two times a day.
- Adjust to your “new” life
You will probably become friends with your orthodontist as you’ll see them regularly (every 6–8 weeks) to have your braces adjusted. And remember to wear a mouthguard if you play sports. A mouth guard allows tooth movement to continue while preventing the braces dislodging from being knocked around.
- Emergency situations
Occasionally, unexpected things happen to braces or aligners. If such events do happen, call your orthodontist and arrange for a visit immediately. Take care of your braces and you’ll have a beautiful set of teeth in no time!
Written by: Fadie Arabo