If you’ve recently had braces installed, you’ll already know how long your treatment is supposed to take. A big part of successful treatment is doing the right thing when it comes to wearing braces. In fact, it’s even possible to get your braces off quicker by doing the right thing and following the rules.
Part of wearing braces or aligners is being disciplined enough to follow the rules and guidelines. You will have already had a chat with your orthodontist about what to do and how to take care of them. The whole point of having braces on is to straighten teeth, close gaps, and fix jaw alignment problems. So the last thing you want is for your braces not to do they job they were designed to do. This would not only be a waste of time but also a waste of money.
Of course, there are definitely some things that you can do to make sure that your braces do exactly what they should do. Here’s some good advice on caring for your braces and maybe even help get your braces off quicker:
Choose what you Eat and Drink Carefully
If you have metal braces with brackets that are attached to your teeth, you really do need to be mindful of what foods you eat. There’s lots of talk around foods, drinks, and braces, but here’s the scoop on what and why:
- Soft drinks
If you enjoy soft drinks like Coca Cola it’s time to get used to not having them. Apart from being full of sugar and terrible for your dental and overall health, soft drinks can actually stain the teeth. If you drink a lot of them when you’re wearing braces, you might find that when the brackets are removed, they leave tiny tooth-coloured squares on your teeth where there is no soft drink stain. It’s a but like having a nice suntan everywhere else but where your clothes were covering you.
- Sticky foods
If you have a sweet tooth, you’re probably better off avoiding those sticky sweets and foods. The big problem with sticky foods is that they can get stuck between brackets and wires and might even rip parts of the braces away completely. Toffee and other super sticky sweets are especially problematic in this context and are best avoided altogether until the treatment is over and done with.
- Chewy foods
Related to sticky foods are the hard to chew foods. Tough chocolate bars and tough foods that need a lot of chewing can damage the braces. Teeth are durable enough to withstand constant chewing on tough foods, but braces are not quite as strong. This constant chewing can also cause wires to bend out of shape and affect the way that teeth move. Do you really want to slow down your orthodontic treatment because you liked the look of some hard chewy toffees?
Be Mindful of How You Eat Certain Foods
When you have braces, it’s important to change the way that you eat too. Even after you get used to the braces, you’ll need to chew foods more meticulously. If you have to eat foods that are crunchy, like fruits and vegetables, it’s a good idea to chop them up into smaller pieces first.
By chopping up foods like this, you’ll not only have an easier time eating them, but you’ll also be less likely to cause damage to the brackets and wires. There have been plenty of occasions where someone has bent a wire or broken a bracket because they weren’t careful enough about what and how they ate. Damaging your braces has the potential slow down overall treatment time & delay getting your braces off quicker.
It shouldn’t need to be said, but if you’re a pen or pencil chewer out of habit, it’s a good time to stop. Chewing anything hard can damage teeth and the braces that you’re in the middle of paying for.
Caring for Your Braces is Important
When you have braces installed, it’s important to make sure that they are well taken care of. And that you listen to cleaning advice on braces. In the simplest terms, this means regular tooth brushing and flossing. In fact, people who wear braces are advised to brush at least three times a day to make sure that any food debris is banished.
All of those wires and brackets can trap food debris more easily and this can cause gum disease and bacterial plaques to form. The last thing you want o have to deal with when you’re wearing braces is an infected tooth or a cavity.
Here are some tips on how to correctly brush your teeth and keep them clean when wearing braces:
- Toothbrush choice
Consider getting one that has been designed specially for people with braces. It can be tough to get in-between the brackets. A special tooth brush with an angled head can make the task easier.
- Circular motions
You don’t want to damage the braces, so it’s important to use small circular motions when you’re brushing each day.
- Front and back
The first thing you should do when you brush is to clean the exposed tooth areas. This means brushing the front of the teeth carefully first and then the insides. Once this has been done, you can turn your attention to angling the brush head. This is so that you can get the stiff bristles in between brackets and wires to clean out any debris.
- Rinse and floss
If you’ve just eaten and you don’t have access to a tooth brush, you can rinse your mouth out thoroughly with water to clear away any food. You might also want to start flossing regularly to clean the nooks and crannies.
Follow the Rules and Get Your Braces Off Quicker
Maintaining good dental health and being careful about what you eat and drink is a big part of ensuring that your braces work efficiently. Preventing cavities and other dental health issues means that your treatment time is less likely to be extended. And that your braces will do exactly as they need to do. Just make sure you follow the advice on braces and you may even get your braces off quicker!