The Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Braces

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La Grange, IL – Orthodontists have long been using braces as an effective tool to straighten smiles, both in adults and kids. While the advent of the Invisalign technology has made treating the misalignment of teeth easier and better, traditional metal braces are still used on a big scale. There are many cases where wearing braces is more suitable than wearing clear aligners. Metal braces consist of two parts – brackets and wires. Brackets stay attached to a patient’s teeth, held together via a wire.

If you’re wearing braces, there are some essential guidelines that your orthodontist will want you to follow. To keep your metal braces well-protected and get remarkable results, you must listen to and heed to your orthodontist’s advice. Both your braces and teeth need proper care and attention.

Here are the most important dos and don’ts of wearing braces:

What to Do

Do Brush After Every Meal: Patients with braces should brush their teeth after every meal or snack. Everytime you eat something, small particles of food are left between the teeth and the braces. If brushing is not done properly, the leftovers can lead to issues like tooth decay and swollen gums. If it’s not possible for you to brush after every meal, brush at least three times a day. Get an electronic brush from your orthodontist for more efficient cleaning of your teeth and braces.

Do Floss Everyday: Don’t miss to floss your teeth on a regular basis. When you have braces, flossing is more important. At all times, you need to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar in your teeth. Flossing everyday is a proven method to keep both your teeth and gums in good health. When you want to floss with braces, using waxed floss with a floss threader is a high recommend, as it allows you to easily reach the gum line and the areas of teeth under the braces.

Do Take Painkillers: When you first start to put on braces, you’ll most likely feel some discomfort and pain. Your orthodontist might prescribe some mild painkillers to make you feel relieved. If he does, make sure you take the painkillers on time so that you don’t have to live with the discomfort. In a couple of weeks, you’ll get used to the braces and there will be no more pain or discomfort.

Do Follow the Orthodontist’s Advice: For splendid results, you’ll need to wear braces for at least 22 hours every day. Ensure you adhere to your orthodontist’s advice and wear your braces properly.

What Not to Do

Don’t Eat Sticky Food: When you have braces, avoid eating food items that are sticky. Having sticky food like chewing gum or caramel candies is a complete no-no, because these will stick both to your teeth and braces. Sticky and chewy food will cause damage to the brackets, wire and band. If you are not careful, you can break the brackets or move them out of their correct position.

Don’t Drink Sugary Beverages: Don’t consume drinks that contain plenty of sugar, as they will harm your teeth. Eating too much sugar or drinking carbonated beverages will weaken the glue that keeps brackets firmly attached to your teeth. Popping off a bracket means you have created a space that’s difficult to clean and where bacteria can easily grow, resulting in cavities and tooth decay.

Don’t Use Your Teeth as Openers: Whether or not you are wearing braces, teeth are not for opening bottles or cans. When you have braces, never try to use your teeth to open drink bottles or tear packets. Because if you do, it can not only chip or break your teeth but it can also damage the braces.

Don’t Grind Your Teeth: Many people have a habit of grinding their teeth, either during sleep or when under stress. When you have braces, you should see to it that you don’t grind your teeth, as it can lead to a range of issues like pain in the jaw joint, stiffness in the surrounding muscles, tooth sensitivity etc. If you have a sleep disorder, ask your orthodontist and they’ll recommend a solution.

Don’t Forget to Report Issues: It’s common to face different kinds of problems when you are wearing braces. Don’t hesitate to visit your orthodontist and tell them about any issues that come up. If you have broken a bracket or the wire has loosened, report it to the orthodontist immediately. Never ever try to fix damages to braces yourself. If issues related to your teeth and braces aren’t addressed at the right time, problems can worsen and the duration of treatment can increase.

Whether you’re an adult or a child, wearing braces calls for proper care and attention. If you are responsible and follow the advice of your orthodontist carefully, you can keep your treatment on the right track. And then you can expect to see life-changing results from your orthodontic treatment.

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