First Weeks In Braces: Do’s And Don’ts of Braces
Not everyone is born with a perfect set of teeth. You may among these people who are conscious of how crooked or unevenly spaced your teeth are. In worse cases, you might even be experiencing pain and discomfort due to underbites, overbites or incorrect jaw position. Fortunately, you don’t have to live through life with these insecurities — all thanks to braces. Generally, your dentist will recommend you to wear braces in order to improve your “orofacial” appearance. But don’t think that wearing braces will come off easy — your road towards achieving that picture perfect smile may be filled with challenges.
All the available marketing for dentists won’t be enough to convince everyone that they should go through the hassle of wearing braces. In fact, after you get them fitted, you’ll quickly realize that there’s actually more pain than pleasure. For starters, you’ll have to adjust eating and talking with your braces on. You’ll even have to go through that phase thinking that you look awkward with braces. Make use of the tips below so you’ll know what to do and not do during the first weeks of having braces.
Here are some of the things you should do once your braces are installed:
- Do enjoy healthy foods: Since chewing and eating can be painful during the first few weeks of braces, it’s best if you stick to soft fruits and vegetables. If these are still too crunchy for you, opt to have softer meals such as oats and smoothies. Just because you have braces, it doesn’t mean that you can no longer enjoy healthy food — you still can, you just have to be careful about your options. Stray away from junk foods because aside from being unhealthy, these can also be too hard for you to chew.
- Do enjoy sweets in moderation: Using braces will require monthly visits to your dentist for adjustments. Expect that your gums will swell after being adjusted. Usually, your dentist will want your teeth to move in specific directions, and swelling is a sign of progress. You can enjoy sweets like ice cream and frozen yogurt to alleviate the pain. The coldness of these desserts can aide the swelling, and their sweetness can help you forget the pain you may be experiencing post-appointment. Just make sure that you’re not overdoing it.
- Do brush and floss: Braces are made of different appliances. You’ll have wires, brackets, and bands. Although very small, these pieces can still become the breeding ground of germs and bacteria. Over time, this can cause gum diseases and other oral problems. Once you have braces, regularly brush and floss. If possible, do it after every meal. The more meticulous you are with your oral hygiene, the better results you’ll have from braces.
- Do call your dentist right away if you experience problems: When you have braces, you should be wary of the appliances on your teeth. If you think that a wire is dislodged or a bracket is loose, call your dentist right away. Generally, dentists will require you to visit their clinic as soon as possible to have these problems fixed. Columbia Dental, for example, accommodates their clients who are having issues with their braces even if they don’t have any appointments for the day.
- Do enjoy the process: Wearing braces is a process. There are several treatments involved once you decide to have braces. All of these can be painful (and costly) but instead of focusing on the bad side of braces, be optimistic. Braces can be a fun experience because you get to meet new people who’ll take care of your oral health and help you learn more about oral hygiene. Plus, you’ll be able to wear different colored bands every time you visit your dentist for adjustments — that’s fun, right?
Pay attention to the following and make sure that you don’t do any of these:
- Don’t eat ice: Chewing ice even without braces is already bad but doing it with your braces on can cause excruciating pain. Ice is hard and cold, and this composition can easily break a bracket or bend a wire in your braces. And when a wire pokes your gums, eating and even talking can be very challenging. Aside from requiring you to visit your dentist, a damaged bracket or loose wire can also delay the progress of your mouth.
- Don’t chew gum: Well, not just gum but all sticky foods in general. This means crossing out any chewy and caramel candies. Avoiding this kind of foods can be very hard for some, but it’s actually for an excellent reason. Any food that will stick to your teeth will also stick to your braces. As you chew these candies, you’re also putting more stress on your wires, brackets, and bands. As a result, these can be damaged, move out of alignment, or start to ache. Gum is the biggest culprit so make sure that you don’t eat it while wearing braces.
- Don’t eat popcorn: Popcorn is one of the staples when you watch movies, but when you already have your braces, it’s time to bid farewell to this delight. Popcorn has hulls that can get stuck under your teeth and braces. If left untreated, this can result in gum irritations and gum diseases.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools: The primary purpose of your teeth is for eating, not for opening drink bottles, straightening wires or opening bags of chips. Regardless if you have braces or not, you should always be careful with how you use your teeth — all the more when you already have braces on. Doing any of these tasks can weaken your teeth, making it hard for your braces to work for you. When this happens, you’ll end up wearing braces for a longer time — which means more sacrifices from you.
Look At The Bigger Picture
Wearing braces can be difficult especially for the first few weeks. You’ll need to make drastic changes in your lifestyle, and you might have to skip eating several types of foods. Having these braces on can even become the reason why you can’t eat corn cobs for at least a year! For your braces to give you the results you want, you should be able to make sacrifices. These are little things compared to the benefits you’ll experience after wearing braces!