Braces or braces can be very annoying, frustrating, and sometimes painful. You will have to change your brushing and flossing habits, as well as adjust your diet so that your braces don’t break. However, all that frustration and hassle will eventually be worth it in the form of nice, straight teeth.
Adjusting to Braces
Learn how to brush your teeth carefully. The way you brush your teeth changes when you wear braces. After the braces are in place, start learning to brush your teeth carefully. Ask the orthodontist about the best way to brush your teeth and follow the instructions carefully. You have to brush your teeth from top to bottom. Move the brush at a 45-degree angle so that it reaches the top and front teeth. Then, brush the bottom and inner surfaces of the teeth.
Make sure to clean all the teeth. Don’t forget to brush the area under the braces. This area is often overlooked.
Your dentist may require you to use a special toothbrush, called an interproximal brush , to clean the area between the braces. If the doctor gave such a brush, ask how best to use it.
Use dental floss. Cleaning teeth with floss while wearing braces is a challenge in itself. To start, slip the short end of the floss through the very top of your teeth, near the gums, and into the main arch of the stirrup. Swipe the floss back and forth between the two teeth. Then, repeat on all the teeth.
Use the thread very carefully. Do not press the braces arch.
Make a brace kit. A brace kit will come in handy to take with you wherever you go. You can take it to work or school. If anything happens to the braces while you’re outside, the equipment you need is readily available. Collect the following supplies in a small bag:
A pack of tissue
Candles for teeth
Brush your teeth outside if necessary. Sometimes, food gets trapped in your teeth when you eat out. If that happens, take your brace kit to a public restroom. Remove the equipment you need to brush your teeth or remove food debris from between your gums.
If you’re not comfortable brushing your teeth in front of other people, try finding a private space.
If you must brush your teeth in a public restroom, remember that many people wear braces. Some people will understand that once in a while you have to brush your teeth outside the house.
Focus on the long-term benefits. Braces may make you uncomfortable. Maybe you are shy or insecure. However, remember that braces will bring benefits in the long run. Even if you don’t like wearing them now, remember that your teeth will be straighter and healthier. If you start to have doubts, think about how good your teeth will look when it’s time to remove the braces.
Try to make braces more fun. Some dentists provide special colors or glitter . Accessories can make it easier for you to wear braces. You can also look for invisible or transparent braces.
If you don’t feel confident when you smile, try focusing on other aspects of your appearance. Buy new clothes. Change hair style. Try different makeup.
Choose cold foods. Cold food helps you deal with the pain of wearing braces. You can try ice cream, popsicles, fruit smoothies , and frozen yogurt to temporarily numb the pain. If braces are interfering with your meal, try a cold snack.
However, don’t eat too much sugar. If you’ve been eating ice cream to numb the pain, opt for a healthy smoothie instead of another sugary snack.
Gargle with salt water. Mix a little table salt in a glass of warm water. Use to rinse for 30 seconds, then spit into the sink. For some people, gargling with salt water can numb the pain in the mouth. Salt water also helps heal cuts and abrasions in the mouth from new braces.
Remember, not everyone is suitable for gargling with salt water. If your mouth is irritated, stop using it.
Try over-the-counter pain relievers. Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can be used to relieve pain from braces. If you are in a lot of pain, take an over-the-counter pain reliever to numb the pain. Make sure you adhere to the dosage recommended on the package.
If you are on medication, first consult with your pharmacist to make sure there are no negative interactions between the medication and the pain reliever.
Talk about braces wax with an orthodontist. Ask about using candles when you have regular checkups. The orthodontist can put wax between the gums and the braces. Candles serve as barriers that can relieve pain. If you are in pain, have the orthodontist put wax on the next check-up.
An orthodontist can also provide you with candles for your own use at home. To use it, roll some wax into a small ball. Then, press in front of the stirrup. Apply wax to any stirrups that irritate your mouth or rub against your gums and lips.
Eat with Braces
Chew slowly. When new braces are put in, there will be difficulty eating. You may find it difficult to chew and food tastes more difficult to swallow. Get used to eating while wearing braces by chewing slowly. Slow chewing also reduces cuts and friction.
Get into the habit of chewing a certain amount in each bite, such as 10 times.
You can also measure how long it takes to eat. Try to eat for 20 minutes, for example.
Choose soft foods. At first, you should only eat soft foods. Hard food is difficult to chew and causes pain. Try mashed potatoes, soft fruit, soups, noodles, and other foods that are easy to chew.
You may be frustrated, but remember that this is only temporary. Over time, you will get used to it and become more comfortable. In the end, you can eat anything even with braces.
Avoid certain types of food. There are several types of foods to avoid while you are still wearing braces. Chewy and sticky food is easy to stick to the stirrup. Even if you are used to wearing braces, you should still avoid the following foods:
Hard-textured foods, such as bagels and apples.
Hard snacks like pretzels and nuts
Wings and Jerky
Chewy or dry pizza bread
Be patient. At first, you may be frustrated that you can’t enjoy your favorite food. However, remember to be patient. Over time, you will get used to it. When the pain subsides and it’s easier to chew, you can enjoy a variety of foods.