If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment and are living with traditional braces for the time being, it can be a challenge — but only if you let it become one. You can make your life easier by following these five tips from Dr. Jeffrey Shirck and our exceptional orthodontists in Ohio, for better living with your new braces!
#1: Fine tune your cleaning technique
Now that you are wearing braces, practicing excellent oral hygiene care is more essential than ever before. That is because oral bacteria and decay-causing acids can easily build up between the brackets and your teeth, so making brushing after every meal and flossing at least once a day a priority is vital if you want to have a healthy smile when your braces come off.
Additional tips for brushing and flossing:
- Rinse your mouth with water before brushing your teeth to loosen larger food particles lingering around brackets.
- Brush the area above your braces at a 45 degree angle, then clean the brackets themselves and the area below the brackets, angling your toothbrush head upwards.
- Clean between your teeth with floss at least once a day. Our orthodontic team can provide floss threaders to make it easier to reach behind braces wires so you can 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 really that’s not the case! We wouldn’t want you to give up these nutritious items, either, especially with summer right around the corner! You can keep enjoying your favorite crunchy foods while protecting your braces simply by cutting them into smaller pieces rather than biting right into the apple or cob.
#3: Rethink your treats
There are still a few things you should avoid at all costs while wearing braces though, and that include popcorn, nuts and sticky candy. Crunchy, hard foods can damage the delicate brackets and wires, which in turn can then delay 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 afterward.
#4: Protect your smile
Braces require special protection when engaging in sports. Athletes of all levels and ages should invest in an athletic mouth guard to keep their braces intact and working like they should. This also helps to protect their teeth from excessive force and impact, too. Wearing a mouth guard is more important than ever while wearing braces and playing sports.
#5: Don’t panic, but stay in touch
If your teeth feel loose or sore during your treatment with your braces in New Albany, Westerville, Pataskala, Newark and Powell, Ohio, don’t worry. It is 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. Please contact our orthodontist, however, if you experience a broken bracket or popped-off wire, or if you have an issue creating a wound in your sensitive tissues in the mouth.
If you still have questions about living comfortably with braces, we welcome you to contact Shirck Orthodontics to discuss your treatment with your orthodontist in Ohio today!