Braces might get a bad reputation due to how awkward they might feel for the first few weeks they’re on. It doesn’t help that people usually get braces during adolescence when self-esteem depends on appearance and judgment from their peers. However, braces do more than improve one’s smile. They are able to correct overcrowded and misaligned teeth, preventing gum inflammation and cavities from happening due to plaque build-up. Trust me, your adult self will thank you for getting braces with the appropriate herbst appliance because she won’t have to deal with many dentist lab appointments in the future.
Taking care of your teeth will be more challenging while on braces given the tiny spaces that can trap food easily. More meticulous care and dental hygiene must be observed to avoid serious oral health problems which can lengthen the duration of being on braces and cause cavities and teeth staining. One must accept the extra responsibility as a necessary measure to keep a twinkling smile. Here are a few tips on taking care of your braces.
1. Avoid sticky and hard food.
While not totally off-limits, there are certain foods to avoid that can harm your braces. Chewy and sticky foods like gum, caramel, and pizza crusts can bend the wires and loosen the bands of your braces. In some cases, the brackets get stuck in the food and come off. The little shells of popcorn also get in between the gums and bands which can hurt a lot. Stick to softer and easier to chew meals in the meantime.
2. Dental wax is your friend.
When a bracket or band comes loose, the wire will stick out and irritate your gums and mouth. Dental wax can be applied to cover the sharp edges and stabilize the loose pieces of wire. All you need to do is to break a small amount and roll it in your fingers to warm and soften it before firmly pressing the wax to cover the sharp edges.
3. Wear a mouthguard when playing sports.
Playing sports can increase the risk of your braces being damaged. It’s better to be prepared by wearing a mouth guard to protect your braces as well as your gums and lips. Ask your dentist where to get full mouth protection especially if you are an active member of your team.
4. Brush and floss your teeth often.
Careful cleaning and brushing are vital in taking care of your braces. Take your time in cleaning around the wires to ensure all plaque and food particles are removed. Brush in a circular motion on all the outer and inner tooth surfaces to reach the insides of each tooth. Flossing is also key to preventing cavities. Don’t be part of the one-third of American adults that do not floss regularly.
5. Visit your dentist often.
You will need to visit your dentist for adjustments to your braces. Routine checkups can spot cavities early and signs of gum disease, and it is an opportunity to bring up any discomforts, pain and broken parts. They might also perform fluoride treatments for an additional layer of protection from tooth decay while you’re wearing braces.
Taking good care of your braces will help avoid future complications and make you one step closer to good-looking teeth once they’re gone. Maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, being mindful of the food you eat, and visiting the dentist regularly.