Information & Tips When You Have Braces

Proper orthodontic treatment is a partnership. When you and your orthodontists work together, you will get the best possible results from your braces treatment. Today we will share some of the ways you can get the most out of your braces.

When it comes to braces, the most important aspect of this partnership is keeping your teeth clean to ensure your smile stays healthy and bright every step of the way.

Here are some specific tips you should use to help keep your teeth clean.

Always remember to brush at least twice a day and for no less than two minutes each time. When you’re brushing your teeth, be sure to brush both above and below your braces. This may feel strange at first, like you’re brushing your gums, but this is actually a good thing. Plaque often accumulates at the gum line, so cleaning this area thoroughly is a must.

Additionally, you should floss your teeth every day. It’s true that flossing with braces adds an extra challenge. But don’t worry, your orthodontist will provide you with special floss you can use to thread under the wires.

After brushing and flossing, use a fluoride mouthwash to complete your routine. Whatever your mouthwash choice, ensure it contains fluoride. This will help keep your teeth strong and help them resist cavities or discoloration during treatment.

The last step in keeping your teeth clean during treatment is to avoid or limit sugary and acidic foods and or beverages. Drinks like soda and sports drinks are full of sugar and acid, leaving a sticky residue on the braces that can damage your teeth.

The second most important part of this partnership is to avoid breaking or damaging your appliances.

Avoid hard foods like hard candy, taco shells, carrots, and pretzels. Also be wary of overly sugary or sticky foods like licorice, gum, and candy. Lastly avoid large or tough foods with skins or kernels that can easily stuck in the teeth such as corn on the cob, whole apples, or popcorn.  

Fortunately, you can enjoy many of these foods during your orthodontic treatment by altering the food in some way, like cutting apples into slices or eating corn off the cob. Additionally, you can enjoy delicious alternatives such as sugar-free gum or puff corn instead of popcorn. Even with braces, you can continue to enjoy soft foods like macaroni and cheese, applesauce, pudding, yogurt, ice cream, and soft fruits.

The third most important aspect of the partnership is staying informed and following instructions from your orthodontist.

It’s likely that you’ll be asked to wear elastics or orthodontic rubber bands to encourage the teeth to move more effectively. These will be prescribed by your orthodontist and your compliance in wearing them can ultimately lead to better results in less time.

Once you’ve begun your braces treatment you may be wondering what you can expect for the first few days or weeks as you get used to the feeling of your appliances. Soreness is normal and can last for several days. The second and third days are usually the worst but don’t worry it will get better. At first, stick to soft foods and take acetaminophen to reduce any soreness. Ibuprofen will also work in a pinch. Your lips and cheeks may need some time to get used to your braces. This might take a few weeks, but wax will help in the meantime. Just be sure to dry the area before applying wax for the best results.  

Typically your appointments will be every four to eight weeks or as directed by your orthodontist. During each of these appointments, your orthodontist will be checking your oral hygiene. Remember the most important thing you can do for your braces is keep your teeth clean.  

When you start your braces treatment, there are a handful of common problems you should prepare for in case you encounter them at some point.

If these problems occur, your orthodontist are always happy to help. Just give them a call or even send a text. However, in some cases, it may be more convenient for you to know how to handle these yourself. If you accidentally break a bracket, leave it in place until you can get to the office. To avoid discomfort, dry the area and cover it with wax if needed. A lost elastic tie is a very simple fix, but you can not handle it on your own. Give your orthodontist a call and schedule an appointment to put it back in place.  

If your wire comes out of the tube, you can try to insert the wire back into the tube yourself or you can clip the wire with fingernail clippers. Make sure to catch the cut wire so you will not swallow it. If you have a poking arch wire that is irritating your gums or the inside of your cheek, try covering the wire with wax. Make sure to dry the area as much as possible before applying wax for the best results. And there you have it, a basic how-to for your brand new braces.  

Your treatment may take some getting used to it first, but with practice and patience, you’ll be enjoying your transformed smile in no time. Just remember the three key aspects of your orthodontic partnership: keep your teeth clean, protect your appliances, and follow the treatment set by your orthodontist at all times.

If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Your orthodontist are always happy to help.

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