So you finally got those braces done at Heroes Dental and Orthodontics and you’re excited to get that beautiful smile you’ve always deserved. Well, perfecting that smile means needing to care for your braces properly. In fact, the better you take care of them, the smoother the process will be, which means they’ll come off quicker than a speeding bullet. Now doesn’t that sound like a win-win?
At Heroes Dental and Orthodontics, we’re on your team, and only want the best for your smile. So remember to take care of those braces with the following tips:
When you first get your braces on, you are going to feel some general tenderness in your mouth and teeth for a few days. Occasionally sipping cool water can help to relieve some of the pressure from the arch wire and make you a little bit more comfortable. Also, think about taking some Ibuprofen to ease the pain.
You’ll also notice that your mouth will be irritated for a few weeks as it becomes used to the surface of the braces. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will help to relieve some of the discomfort. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse vigorously.
Avoid these foods!
Not only do sweets, sodas, and other sugary foods cause cavities, but they can also be a headache to eat when wearing braces. A good idea is to skip out on sticky, chewy, or hard foods. This means no caramel, taffy, gum, or gummy candy. You’ll also want to avoid crunchy foods, like pretzels, which can get stuck in your braces or cause a wire to snap. If you want to eat some healthy foods, like carrots and apples, then cut them into bite-sized pieces before eating them.
- Sticky foods: gum, caramels, gummy bears, etc.
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips, etc.
- Chewy foods: bagels, rolls, licorice, etc.
- Hard foods: carrots, nuts, candies, etc.
Damaged braces means a longer treatment time!
Loose Wires or Bands
Yes, broken wires or loose brackets happen to the best of us, so there’s no reason to be alarmed. If a wire comes loose and begins to irritate your mouth or gums, then use a blunt instrument (like the back of a spoon or eraser end of a pencil) to carefully push the wire away from the cheek. If a wire comes completely off then be extra careful so that you don’t accidently swallow it.
Orthodontic wax can help to reduce the irritation until you’re able to call Heroes Dental and Orthodontics for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece of the braces comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
Protect Your Teeth and Your Braces
Having braces doesn’t mean that you have to stop having fun, but you do have to pay a bit more attention to your mouth. If you play sports, you should wear a mouth guard to avoid accidentally damaging your braces or teeth; this is also just a good idea in general even if you don’t have braces. The American Dental Association recommends wearing a mouth guard on both your top and bottom teeth.
Brushing and Flossing with Braces
Once you get those braces on, it’s going to be more important than ever to keep up with your dental hygiene. You’re going to need to brush your teeth and floss regularly so that the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. You’ll also want to be gentle when brushing or flossing so that you avoid damaging the wires and brackets.
It’s highly recommended that you brush and floss after every meal to help you get rid of food particles that will jam between your teeth and the wiring of your braces, which can cause some heavy plaque buildup. When flossing, thread it carefully between the tooth and the wiring, and then work it slowly back and forth between the teeth and braces. Just remember that being in a rush or applying too much force can cause damage.
Brushing and flossing are going to be your #1 responsibility. If you don’t keep up with your teeth cleaning, you’re going to have to make more frequent visits to the dentist and cause the treatment time to last longer.
If you follow the tips that we’ve just provided you, then you should avoid having any major emergencies happen, but still, it’s important to recognize what an real orthodontic emergency is.
An orthodontic emergency is one that causes pain that you cannot relieve before the next business day.
Examples of an emergency includes:
- A loose or broken wire, bracket, or brace appliance that has come loose or broken off and is causing tremendous pain. If you are at risk of swallowing the item then call your orthodontist immediately.
- If you have been hit in the mouth and have knocked out or moved a tooth. This requires immediate professional attention.
Non-emergencies that can be fixed by appointment are:
- Lost or broken retainers.
- A poking wire.
- A loose bracket or band.
- A colored tie that has come off.
Heroes Dental and Orthodontics is Your Super Team for Braces!
Braces means having to be careful with what you eat and protecting your mouth a little more than usual, but it’s all worth the time and effort when you finally get that dream smile you’ve always wanted. By taking care of your braces and teeth during the orthodontic treatment process, you’ll end up with a smile that will be the envy of everyone at school or at work.
Find Heroes Dental in Laredo, Mission, and San Juan. Our super team is here to serve all members of your family for all of your dental health needs.