People have mixed feelings about going to the orthodontist, not unlike the prevailing sentiment of getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office. Orthodontic treatment, by contrast, is usually more involved than your average dental appointment, and oftentimes the reason is that there is the dreaded “B Word” involved.
Yes, we mean braces. And despite the fact that there are a variety of treatment types out there, many patients still need to go the route of braces.
However, the braces of today are dramatically different than the clunky and remarkably uncomfortable braces worn by generations of the past. Modern braces are designed for function and comfort, bringing patients an option that is smaller, more attractive, and more comfortable. Whether your treatment sees you wear ceramic braces, metal braces, or perhaps Invisalign® Aligners, there’s no time like the present when it comes to wearing braces!
Living With Braces
Alright, we’ll admit that living with braces isn’t exactly a walk in the park for most people. Yes, day-to-day life for braces-wearers is better than it ever has been from a comfort-based perspective, yet it’s not as if getting braces doesn’t necessarily change your lifestyle to one degree or another.
That’s why we’ve decided to dedicate today’s blog to helping our patients (or whoever happens upon this blog) with the daily practice of living with braces. We understand that some days are better than others, and you’ll likely have some days filled with frustration. Keep in mind, however, that at the end of the day this season of your life will conclude, and you’ll emerge from the cocoon of braces wearing a butterfly with the most sparkling smile you’ve ever hoped for!
Keep reading if you’d like a few tips about adjusting to life with braces from your local Augusta orthodontist, Rogers & Andrews Orthodontics!
Take The List Of Forbidden Foods Seriously
Your orthodontist will inform you about what kind of foods you need to avoid given your particular kind of braces. But for pretty much every type across the board, there is a list of non-negotiables because these foods will break or clog your braces up. Avoid:
- Hard candy
- Chunky peanut butter
Make sure you take this list seriously. And if your orthodontist recommends abstaining from other foods, listen to them! It’s vital that you abide by these rules if you want your braces-wearing to have a point. We understand it’s difficult, but we believe in you!
Eat With Care
When it comes to foods you are permitted to eat, you still need to be careful when you consume them. This means chewing slowly and consuming your food in smaller bites than you are perhaps used to. To make life easier on yourself, prioritize eating foods that are healthy, soft, and can be eaten in small pieces. You might not need to make your diet exclusively this way, but it’s a good place to start if you’ve recently gotten your braces. As you acclimate, you’ll quickly learn your limits. But again, care and caution is the rule here.
Brush After You Eat Whenever You Can
The rule of thumb with brushing is at least twice per day — when you wake up and then again once it’s bedtime. But there are new rules to follow when you get braces! You should be brushing your teeth after every time that you eat — whenever it’s possible to do so. Yes, that means you should brush your teeth after that snack you ate on your afternoon break.
There’s good reason to do so — when food particles get trapped in your braces, the longer they stay they the more problematic they can become. It’s possible to develop dental problems that need to be formally addressed if you fail to brush your braces-clad teeth with sufficient frequency.
When you brush your teeth, we’d recommend rinsing your mouth out with water to begin to dislodge any food that has become, well, lodged. Then brush your gum line while holding your brush at a 45-degree angle. Then clean the brackets of your braces by stroking downward, on top of the brackets. Then brush using an upward angle when cleaning the bottom of the brackets. Then rinse your mouth out after you are done.
Most adults should be flossing on a daily basis whether they have braces or not. This helps improve gum health while ensuring that the hard-to-brush parts of the teeth don’t become stained due to plaque and tartar buildup. But for kids and adults with braces, flossing is an absolute must. You need to ensure to not only floss between your braces but under the wires as well. To accomplish this, we’d recommend using either an orthodontic flosser (ask us) or a floss threader. For the same reasons that you need to brush after eating, flossing daily is vital to the long-term health of your teeth.
Wear A Mouth Guard While Playing Sports
If you participate in organized sports, you need to be conscientious about your newly-installed braces. We strongly recommend you wear a mouth guard while participating in any kind of physical activity that involves flying hands and stray elbows. Not only will this protect you from cutting your mouth if some unforeseen contact comes your way, but wearing a mouth guard will help prevent wires from bending or even breaking. Ask us about custom mouth guards we can create for you that will comfortably fit your mouth. We’ll set you up for success!
Book Your Appointment Today!
We’ve been helping craft handmade smiles since 1973 here at Rogers & Andrews Orthodontics, and if you are in the Thomson or Augusta area, we’d love it if you contacted us for orthodontic treatment at your convenience. With two locations (one in Augusta and one in Thomson), we are open Monday through Friday. Give us a call or fill out our form online if you’d like to experience the difference of our exceptional facilities and staff. We’d love to help you achieve your best smile through our orthodontic treatment in Thomson and Augusta, Georgia!