Braces come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional metal braces to the innovative clear aligners. But what’s it like having braces? What changes will you need to make now that you have them?
Why Consider Braces
Your smile is an important aspect of your appearance. There’s nothing better than expressing happiness with perfectly straight, white teeth.
Braces can help you achieve a picture-perfect smile by moving your teeth to the correct position. For kids, developing a positive self-esteem earlier gears them for future success; for adults, having confidence is critical in terms of career and relationships.
Properly aligned teeth also promote better chewing (essential for good digestion) and speech. It also reduces your risk for serious oral and physical health conditions in the future.
But the benefits rely on how well you maintain the dental appliance. So it’s important to know how to take care of your braces throughout your treatment. Follow these tips to make sure your time in braces is comfortable and easy!
Brushing and Flossing
Proper brushing and flossing will keep your teeth and gums healthy. It’s important to brush and floss after every meal to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath. Don’t forget to visit your regular dentist for cleanings and checkups every 6 months to help you keep your teeth healthy.
Adjusting the foods you eat is one of the hardest parts of having braces. You will need to pay special attention to foods that can cause damage.
Foods to Avoid:
- Hard foods (nuts, candy)
- Crunchy foods (chips, popcorn)
- Sticky foods (gum)
- Foods that require biting into (corn on the cob)
Discomfort and Soreness
It is normal to feel some soreness and tenderness of your teeth throughout your time in braces. The discomfort is typically the worst the first day after your adjustments. But, after 3-5 days you will feel much more comfortable as your teeth adapt to the forces being placed on them. For more severe discomfort, over the counter medications such as Tylenol of ibuprofen work well. It is not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated initially; they will toughen as they become used to the braces. We provide wax that you can place over the braces to lessen the soreness.
Patients often report that they feel their teeth are becoming loose. Don’t panic; this is normal! In order for your teeth to move, they must first be loosened by the braces. This sensation will go away after your teeth adjust to their new positions.
Braces and appliances
The brackets or wires from your braces can sometimes come loose. If this happens, please contact us so that we can fix what is broken and make you comfortable. In the meantime, you can place wax over the troubled area for comfort.
Caring for Braces
We need your help to make sure your treatment is successful! It is important to avoid damaging or breaking your appliances so that you finish your treatment on time. Also, your teeth can only move into their proper positions if you wear the rubber bands, retainers, or other appliances as directed by your doctor.
You can still participate in sports while you have your braces, but we recommend that you wear a mouthguard while you play to protect your teeth and braces. Please ask us for advice in selecting a mouthguard if you need help.
If you have an accident or injury while playing, check your mouth and braces immediately. If you feel that your teeth or braces are loose or damaged, please contact our office as soon as possible. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and placing wax in the needed areas.
Call us today at (407) 366-3300 for your complimentary exam and consultation.