Now that you are on the road to having beautiful, straight teeth there are a few things you need to know that will make living with your braces easier. Having braces does not need to have a major impact on you lifestyle but it is important that you take care of them and make a few adjustments to what you eat and do so that your orthodontic treatment is as hassle free as possible.
Braces and Food
There are some foods you should not eat while in braces. These foods may damage your braces which in turn can lengthen your treatment time in many cases.
Foods To Avoid:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you Can Eat:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/Poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Brushing & Flossing
The objective of orthodontic treatment is straightening of the teeth and correcting the bite. If the health of the teeth is ignored along the way, the treatment result can be significantly compromised. Therefore, effective brushing and flossing is one of the most critical actions needed from patients during braces. This helps your teeth look their very best once we take your braces off. Regular visits to the general dentist for examination and cleaning are also essential.
How To Brush:
- Use a soft or extra soft toothbrush.
- Start on the outside of the upper teeth and brush above and below the braces using a small circular motion.
- Angle toothbrush at a 45* angle above the braces (near the gum) pointing downward toward the braces and wire. Repeat with toothbrush below braces angled up toward the braces and wire.
- Then brush the insides and tops of teeth.
How To Floss:
- Insert one end of the floss through the small hole at the tip of the floss threader (provided by your 307 Orthodontist) and pull it through.
- Hold one end of the floss against the threader.
- Insert the shaft (small hole threaded with floss) under the arch wire, in between each bracket. Work the shaft and the floss carefully to remove plaque between your teeth as you would floss normally.
Appliances Do Matter
In addition to the braces and wires you will have during your orthodontic treatment, sometimes additional appliances (like rubber bands and/or retainers) are asked to be worn to move your teeth and jaws into their correct position. If you consistently wear these additional appliances as the doctors prescribe, your treatment should move along just fine, and you should not have these additional appliances for all that long. However, if these appliances are not worn correctly, treatment time could increase or treatment results could not end with the most ideal result possible.
The same is true with our other options for braces. Following the instructions and guidelines for wear, given by your doctor, will ensure your treatment in clear, lingual or self-ligating braces will end with the great result you desire!