Are you thinking of getting braces?
Living with braces can be a bit difficult but only if you allow it to be. Getting orthodontic braces sets you on the path to having straighter teeth, a healthier bite and a more confident smile. Braces will force you to make some adjustments to your eating and drinking habits as well as committing a bit of extra time to your oral health.
How to Brush with Braces
Make it a habit to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste with you wherever you go as it is your best defense against problematic foods and drinks. It is best to use a soft bristle brush as it won’t put too much stress on your gums and braces. Electric toothbrushes are also a great option as they do a swift and thorough job.
If it is not possible to brush after every meal then you should rinse your mouth out thoroughly after each meal.
How to Floss with Braces
Flossing is pretty easy when you don’t have braces as you just have to fit the dental floss in between your teeth and your mouth will be fully flossed within a few minutes.
Another option for this is a floss threader which you can use to thread the floss around the wires and teeth rather than in between. Floss at least once a day.
Eating with Braces
Foods You Should Avoid Eating with Braces
Don’t consume any foods that are sticky, chewy or hard during your entire treatment process as they can damage your arch wires, o-rings, and brackets. If any food happens to get stuck between the tooth and the arch wire, it can add pressure and cause the wire to pop out of its bracket.
Foods that are chewy and sticky are:
- Foods containing toffee
- Chewing gum
- Energy bars
Avoid hard foods that are crunchy as they can displace your braces. These include:
- Crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, pears
- Crusty bread
Foods You Can Eat with Braces
Having braces can still allow you to eat some of your favorite foods but you will have to change the way you eat them. You can opt to cut the food into small pieces but we recommend that you maintain a healthy and balanced diet while wearing braces.
Sugarless dairy products are healthy for your teeth along with fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins and minerals.
Playing Sports with Braces
Some of you may be sports enthusiasts who would prefer to continue playing sport while having orthodontic braces treatment. If you play sport, it is advised to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your orthodontic appliance.
How to Deal with the Discomfort of Orthodontic Braces
Realigning your teeth is bound to make your mouth feel sore as you get used to the braces as they adjust. This is normal and will not last forever. Most people usually get used to the discomfort and adjust to it within a few days. You can dissolve a teaspoon of salt in about 8 ounces of warm water and gargle this solution in your mouth for a few minutes.
If the pain is bad and does not disappear after your saltwater rinse then you should opt for a pain reliever. It is normal for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated as they become accustomed to your braces.
If you have any further doubts or are still experiencing discomfort then call our professionals at Thurman Orthodontics today!
Dr. Brian Thurman has spent his entire life enjoying all the beauty that California has to offer. A Fresno native, he still escapes to the ocean or the mountains whenever his busy schedule allows. Driven by his love for natural beauty, Dr. Thurman enjoys creating beautiful smiles and healthy bites that last a lifetime. He is proud to be the only Ivy League trained Orthodontist in the Fresno/Clovis area.