Living with traditional braces can be a challenge — but only if you let it become one. Make life easier by following these five tips from Dr. Shirck, the children’s orthodontist in Newark, for better living with your new braces!
#1: Develop your cleaning technique
Now that you’re wearing braces, excellent oral hygiene is more important than ever. Bacteria and decay-causing acids can easily build up between the brackets and your teeth, so brushing after every meal and flossing at least once a day is vital for a healthy smile.
Some added tips for brushing and flossing include:
- Rinse your mouth with water before brushing to loosen larger food particles
- Brush the area above your braces at a 45 degree angle, then clean the brackets themselves and the area below the brackets, angling up
- Clean between the teeth with floss at least once a day. Your orthodontist can provide floss threaders to make it easier to reach behind wires to clean between teeth.
#2: Cut up your food
Sometimes people hear “don’t bite into food” and are afraid that means they can’t enjoy their favorite things — like a fresh, crunchy apple or corn on the cob. But that’s not the case! We wouldn’t want you to give up these nutritious items, either. You can keep enjoying crunchy foods while protecting your braces by cutting them into smaller pieces rather than biting right in.
#3: Rethink your treats
A few things you should avoid while wearing braces include popcorn, nuts and sticky candy. Crunchy, hard foods can damage the delicate brackets and wires, delaying your overall treatment time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a good snack with your movie or as a special treat — soft sweets (think peanut butter cups or cookies) are still totally fine with braces, as long as you’re eating in moderation and cleaning your teeth thoroughly after.
#4: Protect your smile
Braces require special protection during sports. Athletes of all levels and ages should invest in an athletic mouthguard to keep their braces intact and working like they should — and to protect their teeth from excessive force and impact, too.
#5: Don’t panic, but stay in touch
If your teeth feel loose or sore during your treatment with your braces in Newark, don’t worry. It’s totally normal for them to feel a little unstable as they reposition themselves in your gum line due to the constant pressure of the brackets and wires. You should contact your orthodontist, however, if you experience a broken bracket or popped-off wire, or if you have an issue creating a wound in your delicate mouth.
Still have questions on living with braces? Contact Shirck Orthodontics to discuss your treatment with the orthodontist in Newark today!