Tips to Enjoy Your Time with Braces On
From the moment you start orthodontic treatment, you’re beginning to realize your dream of an awesome smile and better oral health. It can be exciting to see how your crooked teeth gradually become more attractive as they’re repositioned and straightened.
However, orthodontic therapy can be a lengthy process, and sometimes you may lose sight of its ultimate goal and associated positive aspects.
Here at Webster Orthodontics, we don’t regard ourselves as your typical orthodontic practice. True, great smiles are our specialty, but we pride ourselves on being a fun-loving and friendly dental office that our patients enjoy visiting. So, we’ve put together some tips1to enjoy your time with braces on and ease any discomfort.
Enjoying Your Food While Wearing Braces
When you got your braces2, they probably came with a long list of hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy foods to avoid in order to safeguard them from damage. At first sight, this can be a depressing prospect, especially if you have a sweet tooth and a penchant for chocolates.
However, there is an equally long list of foods you can still enjoy, with the added bonus that – unlike sugar-rich snacks – they’re good for your dental and overall health.
Foods you can enjoy while wearing braces include:
- Tender meats.
- Soft cheese.
- Mashed potatoes.
- Steamed vegetables.
- Soft, cooked rice.
Besides steering clear of certain foods after getting your braces, you’ll probably be advised to avoid sugary, acidic and carbonated drinks, which can weaken the adhesive bond between the brackets and your teeth.
The good news is that shunning these sorts of drinks is good for your teeth, whether you wear braces or not. Plain milk or plain water is your best bet. Juices should be restricted to mealtimes.
Playing a Wind Instrument While Wearing Braces
If you play a woodwind instrument like a clarinet, you should be able to adjust fairly easily to playing when you have braces – the mouthpiece won’t come into direct contact with them. All woodwind players may get more condensation building up in their instrument, so it will need to be cleaned out more often.
Getting used to playing a brass instrument when in braces can be trickier, but not impossible. On the other hand, instruments with larger mouthpieces, such as a tuba, need less mouth pressure, which makes them easier to play if you have braces.
Enjoying Sports When You Have Braces
Braces needn’t stop you from continuing to take part in your favorite sports, although you should get an orthodontic mouthguard specially designed to fit over your braces. Mouthguards are available over the counter but, according to the American Dental Association3 (ADA), the best mouth shields are those custom-made by dental professionals.
Keep a Braces Kit Handy
A braces kit can help you enjoy your time with braces on as you go about your everyday life. Take the kit with you to school or work so you can keep your braces clean and fix any minor problems that might develop.
Pre-made braces kits are available or you can put together your own by keeping the following items to hand in a toiletries bag:
- Fluoride toothpaste.
- Mini toothbrush.
- Small water bottle for rinsing your mouth.
- Floss and/or dental picks.
- Dental wax to ease any discomfort from protruding wires.
- Small mirror.
- Pack of tissues.
- Over-the-counter pain relief.
Enjoying Your Time with Braces on While on Vacation
A vacation gives you a well-deserved break from your regular routine and allows you to recharge your batteries. However, you can’t take a break from wearing your braces. Having your braces kit handy while on holiday will give your peace of mind even if you never need to use it.
You should also think about a visit to your orthodontist before you set off on your travels. They can make any adjustments to wires and brackets that may have become necessary since your last orthodontic check-up. This will help your treatment to proceed as planned and allow you to make the most of your vacation without worrying about your braces slipping out of place.
Before you set off, you could also locate an emergency orthodontist in your destination area just to be on the safe side.
Importance of Oral Hygiene When You Have Braces
Keeping your braces and teeth clean plays a key role in helping you to enjoy your time with braces on. Oral hygiene becomes even more important during orthodontic treatment. As well as having to clean your teeth and gums, you need to ensure sure the wires, bands, and brackets remain free from bacteria.
You should also maintain your routine dental exams with your regular dentist to make sure your teeth and mouth stay healthy while you’re wearing braces.
Getting Used to Your Braces
It’s normal to experience some soreness when you first get your braces, and you might notice slight irritation to your lips and cheeks as they become accustomed to them. This should subside within a couple of days.
Dental wax can help create a barrier between your mouth and braces. Discomfort can also be eased by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and using over-the-counter pain relief. Cold foods can also be beneficial straight after getting braces, but don’t crunch on ice, which can break your braces.
If significant discomfort persists, contact your orthodontist for help.
Remember You’re Not on Your Own!
Nowadays, people of all ages wear braces, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed. Even if you’re acutely aware of your braces – a feeling that will diminish with time – it’s unlikely anyone else will be paying them much attention. If you’re still in school, you almost certainly won’t be alone in having orthodontic treatment.
It’s All Worth It in the End!
Wearing braces can be a challenge that calls for a little patience while you get used to them and some perseverance as your orthodontic treatment progresses and you need to stick to a modified diet and take extra care with oral hygiene.
However, focusing on the positives – including the end result of strong and healthy teeth and a super smile – can help to make your time with braces on more enjoyable.
To get the most from your braces treatment, you need to ensure you find a quality orthodontic practice that can help you decide which type of braces are most suitable to solve your specific orthodontic issue.