• Teodora Todorova

How to Look After Your Braces

Although care is important with every type of treatment, whether it involves the mouth or other area of the body, when it comes to braces you have to be careful mostly while eating and cleaning your teeth and braces.


Maintaining good oral hygiene is advised to everyone, but people with braces should never neglect these habits and think of them as duties.

First, let’s discuss brushing. Your dentist will explain in detail how brushing needs to be done and how regularly you should brush your teeth. It’s important to have a small toothbrush with soft bristles that can make its way around narrow gaps and small places. It’s advised to brush your teeth at least three times a day, which is after every meal and remember to use the right toothbrush for your cleaning. Whilst cleaning your teeth, be thorough and pay more attention to the space that exists around your braces.


If you find any food there, remove it to avoid bacteria from harming your teeth. Moreover, don’t limit yourself on time when it comes to brushing. Brush your teeth for at least three to four minutes and make sure that this becomes a regular habit while you have braces. Alongside teeth, you are supposed to clean your tongue and gums as well. A lot of bacteria sit on your tongue throughout the day and it’s best to remove it as much as you can. Brush your gums in a circular motion so that they have proper blood circulation and cleaning too.

Next, you should clean between your teeth and under the wire regularly. Make sure to have the right size of interdental brushes, so that your mouth can be free from food and bacteria. Make sure to cover all of your teeth, from the first to the last because bacteria and food can be quite sneaky. You don’t want to have a cavity or tooth decay while wearing braces, trust me.


It’s best to care for your teeth at all times, and having cavities is a sign that you’re not keeping good care of your dental health. You can have a professional cleaning from your dental hygienist too. People with braces should go for them since it helps remove excess plaque and prevents bacteria from stemming in places you cannot reach. Another tip is to learn some helpful chewing practises that help safeguard your braces.


Overall, having braces is of no use if you can’t make a few sacrifices. If you can’t control your diet, maintain good oral health, keep up with brushing and flossing a few times every day, then getting braces is a waste of money and time.


If you disregard your dental health while wearing braces then your treatment procedure will prolong, and you will have to stick with those metal wires for a long time. Doesn’t making a few compromises seem like a better alternative all of a sudden?

Braces and Diet


Chewing is done with your teeth, so you should be ready for a few sacrifices here and there with your diet in order to have a smooth recovery with your new braces. Even though you don’t have to make major changes in your diet, it is good to have a know-how to prevent issues of any kind.


You must have heard from a far-away family member that having braces means that you won’t get to eat anything for a few months, and while that’s far from reality you don’t need to laugh at their unusual claims. Just play dumb and you’ll be alright. Jokes apart, there are certain foods that your doctor may tell you to avoid completely, since they can damage your braces.


But this doesn’t apply to everything that people normally eat. Diet is strict in the beginning, but with time you will have access to almost everything.


On the day of your treatment, your mouth will be sensitive, and trust me, when I say that you don’t want to upset it further by eating something hard. In the first few days you are better off eating foods with a light texture. These may include:


  • Liquid soups

  • Scrambled eggs

  • Oatmeal

  • Soft fruits

  • Pasta

  • Seafood

  • Boiled vegetables (or soft ones)

  • Mashed potatoes


This list can go on and on, as long as it contains foods that can be easily chewed. If you’re a meat lover, I advise you to sacrifice meat for a while. Meat has a hard texture, and it will be difficult to chew it at the beginning.

Furthermore, most people think that having tubs of ice cream right after your treatment is right, but contrary to popular belief, some people will not agree. When you first get your braces, your teeth may get sensitive. If you try eating cold ice cream and discover that the coldness hurts your teeth, just wait a few days. This also includes anything that may have citrus in it, or spices, or anything that has a thick texture, be it a loaf of bread or meat.


Don’t worry though, because you can have these items after your teeth become adjusted to the new settings.


Now let’s move forward by listing the most important thing: foods that you should abstain from completely after getting your braces. While candy of any kind (whether chewy or hard) is off limits, there are other foods that you should avoid, for example:


  • Nuts

  • Chips

  • Crackers

  • Ice

  • Popcorn

  • Chewing gum

  • Rolls (hard ones)


You may raise your eyebrows after getting to know items like chewing gum and chips are banned, but there’s a reason for it as well. Chewing gum can get stuck in your braces, which you want to avoid at all times.


Additionally, foods with high contents of sugar are to be consumed in limits since sugar can increase the risk of having caries in your mouth. This also includes sugary drinks, so take it easy with your drinks and shakes while having braces.


Loose brackets


Even though you’re aware of certain restrictions given by your doctor, it’s only natural to make a few mistakes in your journey towards straight teeth. Your dentist will schedule appointments to check and adjust your braces from time to time, but if you slip in between and manage to mess up your braces a bit, it’s okay. Let’s discuss how that can happen first.

You may have consumed sticky or crunchy foods that may make your brackets loose. Plus, some people have a habit of sticking their fingers or pointy objects between their teeth which can damage your braces. In other cases, you may incur an injury to your mouth by accident which can make the braces loose. You should call your dentist and schedule an appointment right away if anything of this sort occurs to you. Additionally, poking your broken wires or brackets is not wise either. At best, you can insert some wet cotton or orthodontic wax over the sharp edges until you reach your dentist.


Conclusion


Before going forward with any treatment, you should know what to expect when your head rests on the chair while the doctor does their job. To ensure that you harbour no worry or fear regarding your treatment, I’ll list here what you can generally expect. Everyone’s scared to be in pain, right? And while that’s a general response you don’t need to be worried even for a second. You will feel your dentist working inside your mouth, but relax, it won’t hurt a bit. After the treatment your mouth may feel slightly heavier due to the fact that it has something new inside of it but there’s no need for concern. There might be soreness around your gums and cheeks, and you can expect to have slight discomfort after the treatment, but it’ll go away with time. Your dentist may also prescribe an over-the-counter pain reliever that takes away your worries.


A simple salt-water rinse can take care of soreness and pain too.


From time to time you may experience soreness inside your mouth which is natural. This occurs due to shifts in your teeth caused by the braces. This means that they’re doing their work so don’t worry at all! After five to six days of your treatment, the soreness and pain should be relieved.


By now, your mouth and teeth must be used to the braces and the procedure and you should have an easier time when it comes to eating and chewing your food.


However, some dietary restrictions still apply so don’t count yourself lucky just yet. Foods that can break your braces are still forbidden, because they can damage them even though the soreness has ceased. But if the soreness does not go away after the first few days, you should contact your dentist and inform them about your soreness to remain on the safe side.

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