How to Show Your Smile TLC with Braces
Although braces can be an integral part of your oral health if you have them, they can also take some time to get used to. Depending on the type of braces you receive, they may feel foreign in your mouth at first and make it difficult to chew, speak or play an instrument.
With practice, you can adjust to your new braces and even start to enjoy the way they look on your teeth. Rather than becoming frustrated with the appliance, there are certain ways that you can show your smile some TLC with braces.
Keep up with oral hygiene
It’s true that braces can add an extra step to your oral hygiene routine, which may seem inconvenient at first; however, practicing proper oral hygiene will ensure that your smile remains healthy for the duration of your treatment with braces.
Although braces are designed to improve the health of your teeth, their placement will interfere with your ability to brush and floss effectively, which is why your orthodontist will advise you to brush and floss after every meal.
Brushing appropriately will help to catch any leftover food debris and bacteria that will keep your teeth cavity-free and help your braces remain clean as well.
Take care of supplemental appliances
Your orthodontist may supply you with a retainer after your orthodontic treatment is complete. If you play a sport, you may also benefit from a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth.
A retainer is designed to keep your teeth from shifting back to their original, misaligned position while a mouth guard will ensure the health of your teeth by keeping them out of harm’s way.
As important as it may be to wear your retainer on a consistent basis or your mouth guard every time you hit the field, court or ring, it’s equally important that you care for these appliances in the same way that you would your braces.
The easiest way to clean your retainer or mouth guard is to brush them with a toothbrush and an antibacterial cleanser. You can do this right after brushing your own teeth and simply rinse off the appliance before wearing or storing it. You can also soak your retainer in mouthwash or a soft cleaning agent for 10 minutes, but try not to do it on a daily basis to prevent staining of the retainer.
Eat braces-friendly food in a braces-friendly way
One of the biggest challenges to wearing braces is your inability to eat certain foods. Although some of your favorite snacks may be off limits, it’s only to keep your braces from becoming damaged, and it will also maintain the health of your teeth in the process.
Foods like bagels, apples, chips and chewy candies are generally seen as harmful to your braces, and the other foods that you are permitted to eat may be tough to chew and break down. If you're struggling to consume the foods you love, try cutting them into smaller pieces to make them easier to chew. You can also look for food alternatives, like applesauce, if you’re unable to eat raw apples, for instance.
Learn to Love Your Braces
In time, you’ll adapt to your new braces and view them as a way of life - at least temporarily. If you would like more information about ways to care for your braces, contact Central Florida Smiles in either our Longwood or Lake Mary offices and schedule a consultation.