Tips to Living with Braces

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Braces Affect Many Things in You Life, Such as Eating

Growing up, many children learn to hate the dentist. There is a stigma against them, with many having misconceptions and thinking a dentist visit is painful. One of the causes for this may be braces. Children go to visit their dentist only to find out their teeth need correction. Wearing braces have become a rite of passage for many adolescents. They aren’t the only ones, though! Nearly 1.4 million adults are currently wearing them. They don’t discriminate.

Many see having to wear braces as an inherently bad thing. While it may not be the most comfortable nor the most fashionable, they are for your well-being. Braces help protect you from health problems, including gum disease. After you finally have them removed, your health will be intact, and your smile will be transformed.

What are Braces?

The intent of braces is to correct crooked teeth or a misaligned bite, meaning an underbite or overbite. While many general dentists can do basic alignments, orthodontists’ specialty is in correcting any issues in your teeth. They can do this in many ways, including retainers, braces, clear braces, and more.

They are composed of bands, wires, and other applications that are secured to the teeth. To determine if you need them or not, your dentist will check your medical history, take impressions of your teeth, photograph your face and teeth, and X-ray your mouth and head. This way, they can construct the right fit for you.

When applied, braces apply constant pressure over time, slowly moving your teeth into a corrected position.

Helpful Tips

Living with braces can be difficult for many teenagers. Not only does it affect how they eat and clean their mouth, but it can even lead to bullying from their peers. Even though they may know that they will give them many benefits for their long-term health, they still may not be happy about it. That’s why we are here to help your teen get through living with their braces.

Watch What You Eat: 

Unfortunately for many, your braces affect the foods you eat. There are many types of food that you should steer clear of, so you don’t damage your braces. Some of the foods you should avoid are:

  • Hard fruits and veggies, including apples, pears, carrots, and more.
  • Chewy foods, such as soft bread, taffy, and licorice.
  • Crunchy foods, including chips, popcorn, and ice.
  • Sticky foods like candy, chewing gum, and caramel candies.
  • Hard nuts.

Avoiding these foods can ensure that your braces remain in good shape and don’t extend the time you have to wear them. There are many foods you can eat, including:

  • Cooked vegetables.
  • Soft fruits, including bananas and strawberries
  • Lean, tender meat.
  • Soft bread, including tortillas and pancakes.
  • Pasta and soft-cooked rice.

Wear a Mouthguard: 

For any child who plays a contact sport, they should always be wearing a mouthguard. Without a mouthguard, you are more likely to suffer a sports-related tooth injury. This is especially the case for those with braces.

Just because you are wearing braces does not mean you have to be away from the action. However, it does mean you need to take extra precaution. Your braces will more than likely make your mouth more sensitive and tender than normal. Any contact with it may cause discomfort. A mouthguard also protects your appliances from sustaining damage from a flying ball or a swinging elbow.

If they become damaged, you have to go back to the dentist to fix them, which could extend the time needed wearing them. Always wear a mouthguard.

Add Personality to Your Braces: 

Braces have come a long way since their inception. You are no longer stuck with just traditional metal looking teeth. Children can make their braces whatever color they wish now! With the help of colored bands, kids can now add their own flair and personality. They can make them all one color, make the bottom a different color than the top, or create an alternating pattern. The options are virtually limitless.

Some children are forced into wearing them. This makes them feel as though they don’t have much of an option with their situation. Allowing them to change the colors of their bands in their braces gives them a sense of control in a situation they normally didn’t.

Always Use Proper Dental Care:

Your daily dental routine should not vary compared to before you had braces. You should still brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. They can make this more difficult, unfortunately.

To begin, you should always swish water in your mouth to dislodge any food stuck in your teeth and braces. You need to still use a regular soft toothbrush on all of your teeth. You can even use a proxabrush to get in the small gaps between two braces. Flossing can be more difficult. You can knock out some of the brackets and wires if you are not careful. Gently thread floss between wires. To finish off, utilize some disinfecting mouthwash to clear any debris.

Properly Utilize Your Retainer:

Many people underestimate how important a retainer is to the success of your braces. You should always wear your retainer until your orthodontist says otherwise. Your teeth can return to their original positions fairly quick without your retainer in place.

You should always remove your retainer when you are eating, putting them in their case for safekeeping. Your retainer should be cleaned at least once a day with a toothbrush. At least once a week, disinfect your retainer with a denture cleaner, such as Efferdent. Retainers can be easily broken and can start to add up when they need to be replaced, so make sure you are taking the best care of it.

Getting braces can be a difficult time for many teenagers. Most of them don’t like the way they look or feel. Some even become victims of bullying. Regardless of the long-term benefits braces provide, no one looks forward to them, even the select adults who opt for them. However, there are plenty of things people with braces can do to make the time with the mouth gear much easier. If you believe you or your child may need braces, contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas.