Living with braces takes getting used to, but the cosmetic results are well worth it. Dr. David Markham wants your treatments to be as comfortable as possible. After Dr. Markham has placed your braces at his Sacramental, CA clinic, you’ll want to follow these simple tips.
Tips For Living With Braces
On average, braces are worn anywhere from 18 months to three years. The first few weeks present the biggest hurdles as you adjust to your new orthodontic cases.
During the first few days after your braces are tightened, you’ll want to stick to soft foods like smoothies, soups, pasta, and eggs. Cutting your food up into bite-sized pieces will also help you avoid unnecessary irritation while your gums and teeth adjust to the new settings.
Watch Bad Chewing Habits
If you tend to chew on your fingernails or pencils (ie, things other than food), you might want to quit those habits while undergoing orthodontic treatments. Hard objects like ice can aggravate sensitive teeth or damage your new hardware.
Brushing is critical of good oral hygiene. This is even truer while undergoing teeth straightening with braces. Trapped food can cause decay and cavities if not quickly removed. While undergoing orthodontic treatments, you should brush after every meal while being mindful of every crevice of your mouth.
Avoid Certain Foods
Don’t worry, you won’t have to give up all your foods. Certain foods can be problematic, though, because they are more easily caught between teeth and braces. We recommend straying from:
- Chewy foods (licorice, bagels)
- Crunchy foods (chips, lollipops)
- Sticky foods (Skittles, Starbursts)
- Hard foods (candies, nuts)
If you do indulge in these foods, proceed with cause and brush vigorously afterward.
Floss will become your best friend when it comes to good oral hygiene. Flossing multiple times per day with a floss threader is a good way to ensure that your teeth stay clean.
Use an Interdental Toothbrush
Dr. Markham will either recommend or provide you with a special toothbrush to clean your teeth and braces. Proxabrush is one such example.
Avoid Whitening Agents
Bleaching or whitening products will unevenly whiten your teeth while wearing braces. You may end up with darker areas where the braces attached to your teeth.
Carry a Cleaning Kit
Even if it’s just a floss threader or toothbrush, having cleaning options away from home will help you prevent tooth decay.
Wear a Mouthguard While Playing Sports
Most sports already require mouthguards. The wires on your braces may cut or injure your gums and cheeks if you are not careful.
We saved the best advice for last. You’ll want to get over your new braces jitters sooner than later.
Remember, many people of all ages have or recently had braces. Cosmetic treatments shouldn’t hold you back from a big, wide smile. Your cosmetic treatment might even become a great conversation starter.
Call Us Today
It’s important to develop good habits early on. Remember, your braces won’t be on forever. While you are undergoing orthodontic treatments with braces, oral hygiene is critical to prevent unwanted cavities. To learn more about the benefits of braces, contact us at (916) 924-8970 or visit our Sacramento, CA office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Markham.