Life With Braces
Unfortunately, life does not begin with a beautiful smile, and most people have to invest some effort in order to obtain flawless, straight teeth. Of course, there is not a pill available to make the process happen overnight, but most people, instead, must receive orthodontic care–specifically with the use of braces. While that may seem absolutely dreadful to some people, rest assured in knowing that quality professionals, like us at Advanced Orthodontics Studio, make the time spent wearing braces as comfortable as possible, and promise patients plenty of important information that will only make the procedure easier in the long run. First things first, what do braces do?
An Overview of Braces
Also referred to as cases, these are orthodontic tools designed to improve the appearance and the overall health of teeth. Contrary to popular belief, teeth that overlap or underlap can be seemingly dangerous and, when left untreated, hold the potential to require jaw surgery. Designed to soften the teeth as a means to reposition them, these tools have been used for decades. Though typically worn by teenagers and pre-teens (since this is the time where teeth have finally settled), braces are able to be worn by people of all ages if an orthodontist deems them necessary. These tools do require proper care and a special attention to life’s daily tasks.
Eating With Braces: What Suffices and What to Avoid
Surely eating is part of every day, and while it may seem difficult in the beginning, it is important to be mindful of what you are consuming; some foods can dislodge brackets and, in rare cases, cause abscesses. Life as you know it is not over, though, and plenty of tasty options exist that will make your time wearing braces a breeze.
The Do Nots
- Chewy Foods: Sticky toffees and candies are easily able to dislodge brackets, and even if they do not do that, they are difficult to adequately clean off of the teeth and braces themselves. Bagels, caramel apples, and taffy are a few examples of chewy foods.
- Certain Snacks: Sorry, popcorn eaters, but the kernels in this popular snack get stuck under braces; if not properly cleaned, they can snap brackets off. Gum, hard cookies and crackers, and hard corn chips should be avoided, too.
- Do Not Sink Your Teeth Into: Apples, cheeseburgers, raw vegetables, thin crust pizza, croutons, hard breads, corn on the cob, and foods doused in caramel.
- Seeds: Avoid seeds at all costs, due to the fact that they can snap brackets and cause an abscess if they become stuck. This includes sunflower seeds and fruits that contain seeds, like raspberries.
If you simply cannot resist some of these foods, it is recommended to seek alternatives, like hulless popcorn, gooey chocolate chip cookies, cooked vegetables, removing the corn from the cob, and to enjoy meat that is properly cut into chewable chunks.
The Delicious Dos
- Mashed, baked, or fried potatoes
- Watermelon and cantaloupe
- Blueberries, strawberries, and grapes
- Though immediate and proper cleansing is required, peanut butter is an acceptable food
- Seafoods, including tuna, haddock, shrimp, and salmon
Soreness Caused From Braces and Appliances
- Doughy pizza
- Cold cuts
Soreness is incredibly normal–especially in the beginning stages of wearing braces, and after routine checkups where your braces will be tightened. We assure you, though, that this is often temporary, but there are options to make the time spent in pain easier to deal with!
Salt often has numbing qualities that alleviate the tenderness that braces sometimes cause. It is recommended to dissolve about one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water, and to gargle with it. Just make sure that you do not swallow! If that proves ineffective, over the counter pain relievers, like Tylenol and low-dose Ibuprofen, are sufficient. Of course, if the pain does not seem to go away despite your efforts, please contact us to schedule a checkup.
What to Do When You Have Loose Wires or Bands; Take Care of Your Appliances
This is a common issue when wearing braces, and even occurs when you follow the appropriate diet. If it does happen, it is crucial to schedule an appointment to fix the problem. If you lose a bracket or portion of the wire, please be sure to save it and bring it to your next appointment with you. Of course, if the wire is irritating your cheeks, lips, or gums, you can temporarily abate the irritation by using a clean eraser on a pencil to put it back into place. Again, though, this is temporary, and the more time spent with it being broken equates to the more time that you must wear your braces.
Can You Still Play Sports With Braces?
You sure can! Upon getting your braces, let us know which sports you play, and we can assist you in finding a mouthguard that will protect your teeth and appliances, and that fits properly. As always, maintaining an awareness is crucial, and if a sporting injury ensues, it is important to immediately check your mouth for any loose or broken equipment.