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We’ve reopened in accordance with CDC, O.S.H.A., and State Dental Board guidelines to responsibly resume seeing our patients for regular dental appointments and treatment. We want to assure you of the measures we take to maintain a clean and safe environment so you can continue to receive needed dental care without fear or concern.
For some people achieving a healthy smile requires the use of orthodontic braces. While braces are most commonly associated with kids they can also be worn by adults to correct orthodontic issues. Living with braces requires some lifestyle adjustments including changes to diet and oral health care. Your mouth may be tender and sore for a few days after getting braces put on but the soreness generally subsides within a short period of time. While you are getting used to braces you may experience irritated cheeks, lips, and tongue. Warm salt water rinses are good for helping with the irritation. It is also important to brush and floss regularly when wearing braces to get rid of any bacteria, in addition to using wax which is normally provided by your dentist.
Brushing and Flossing With Braces
Good oral health is important for everyone but especially for people who wear braces. You should be brushing and flossing regularly, especially after eating. If you are unable to brush you teeth directly after eating, you should rinse with water and then brush as soon as possible. Braces tend to cause your toothbrush to wear out faster so you will need to replace it more often than normal. If the metal on your braces looks dull or fuzzy, it indicates that you are not brushing well enough. You should brush all the surfaces of the teeth as well as all the parts of your braces. When flossing, it may help to use a floss threader to make it easier to floss underneath the wires.
Tips for Eating With Braces
In order to protect your braces and ensure that your treatment works, you will need to make some dietary adjustments when undergoing treatment. When you are wearing braces you should avoid chewy foods such as licorice and bagels. Crunchy foods such as popcorn and lollipops should also be avoided. Food and candy that is sticky, such as gum and caramel should also not be consumed if you have braces. There are still plenty of delicious foods you can eat including pasta, soft breads, ice cream, dairy, and more. In addition to dietary adjustments when you are wearing braces you should also avoid biting your nails, smoking, and chewing on things such as ice cubes.
Physical Activities With Braces
You can still partake in physical activities if you wear braces as long as you protect your teeth. You can purchase orthodontic friendly mouth guards which should always be used when participating in sports. If you are involved in a sports accident, you should check your mouth and braces immediately and if the equipment or your teeth are damaged you should schedule an appointment to see your dentist right away.
Playing an instrument can also be a bit difficult if you wear braces. You will need to learn to adjust to playing with the braces. As you are adjusting you may develop sores but salt water rinses and the liberal use of wax should help your lips and teeth. With enough practice, you will be able to adjust to playing your instrument while wearing braces.
How long you will be required to wear your braces will be determined by your dentist. If you do not take good care of your teeth and braces, it may wind up increasing the amount of time that you have to wear them to complete your treatment. With some simple oral care and dietary adjustments, you can properly care for your braces and aid in your treatment.
For additional tips on wearing braces, check out these pages.