Living with braces can be quite the hassle if you don’t know what you’re doing, but thankfully, this short braces survival guide from your orthodontist in Powell will show you how to make your treatment quickly fly by without any bumps along the way. A few minor adjustments can make a huge difference on the road to a gorgeous smile, and below, you’ll find exactly what you need so you can go through your life without having to stress about you or your child’s braces.
Tip #1: Run by the Pharmacy Beforehand
Right after braces have been put on or adjusted, it’s normal for someone to experience a little oral discomfort and tenderness. While this isn’t exactly pleasant, it’s actually good news—it simply means the braces are working to move the teeth! The mouth will usually adjust and the pain will go away after a few days, but in the meantime, OTC medications like ibuprofen can provide some immediate relief.
Tip #2: Invest in a Mouthguard
Nothing throws off a braces treatment faster than an unexpected dental injury! If you or your child regularly participate in sports where contact between other players or flying equipment is possible, it’s wise to invest in a special mouthguard that’s designed to fit over braces. This will not only protect the appliance and the teeth in case of an accident, but it can also prevent cuts to the lips, cheeks, and gums.
Tip #3: Watch What You Eat
Certain types of foods should simply be avoided if someone has braces. Sticky items like chewing gum or gooey candies can become stuck on the wires, while an errant bite into a hard piece of food can lead to a bracket suddenly falling off. Basically, stick to foods that are relatively easy to chew and won’t remain in the mouth for a long time afterward.
Tip #4: Water is Your Best Friend
Food particles, plaque, and bacteria can easily become trapped against the teeth when someone has braces, leading to bad breath as well as an increased risk for cavities and gum disease. Ideally, a patient should be brushing and flossing their teeth at least twice a day, but if you’re out and about, simply rinsing your mouth with water is always a good idea. Drinking more water while wearing braces is smart in general, as this rinses the mouth of food particles and increases saliva production, enabling the mouth to better clean itself.
Tip #5: Don’t Be a Stranger to Your Orthodontist!
Throughout a braces treatment, a patient will be asked to attend progress checkups with their orthodontist every 6-8 weeks. In addition to making sure that the teeth are moving as expected, this also gives the orthodontist a chance to adjust the braces to make them more comfortable or prevent a small issue from becoming a big problem. If they find a lose bracket, for example, they can tighten it before a patient even notices anything!
In the end, when the braces come off and a freshly straightened smile is revealed, all these little adjustments will seem more than worth it. Not only will these tips ensure a gorgeous result, but they will make the journey much smoother as well, helping treatment go by nice and fast.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is an award-winning orthodontist who loves serving patients of all ages. When it comes to providing traditional braces in Powell, he strives to help his patients achieve their most beautiful and healthy smiles possible while also enjoying a smooth experience along the way. To learn more about living with braces and how to start treatment, we invite you to give us a call or schedule a FREE consultation by clicking here.