While regular brushing and flossing can help prevent cavities and gum disease, even children with the most adept dental hygiene habits may need to make a trip to the orthodontist for braces or aligners. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there are approximately 4 million Americans currently wearing braces, 75% of whom are children…
Life With Braces – Important Information From an Orthodontist
An orthodontist is the person who will fit you with braces. Now that you have them, you might be wondering how to take care of them. It is important to make sure that you are properly maintaining your braces. An orthodontist provides the necessary information about what it is like to live with this teeth straightening treatment.
The facts about living with braces
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the orthodontist and the patient receiving the treatment. The orthodontist provides the expertise, the treatment plan and the braces themselves. However, it is the patient who is necessary for a successful treatment. Following the orthodontist’s instructions can mean the difference between failure and success.
There are foods to avoid
Patients need to stay away from food that can damage the braces and lengthen treatment time. People in braces should avoid sticky foods, hard candies, very hard food and hard objects like pencils. Additionally, patients should cut meat from the bone, cut corn off the cob, remove pits from fruits and cut up hard fruits and vegetables.
Braces can cause discomfort
When first wearing braces, a person might notice that their teeth and mouth are tender or sore. This is normal for someone who has just received the braces, and the discomfort will fade. An orthodontist may recommend over-the-counter pain medications for the first few days. It is common for a patient to have irritation in the lips, cheeks and tongue for one to two weeks. These areas need to toughen and acclimate to the braces. Orthodontists may supply wax to put over braces, which can lessen any irritation.
Teeth will loosen
It is normal for teeth to feel loose and wiggly. The braces must first loosen the teeth, so they can move into the correct position in the mouth. Once the teeth are in the right spots, there will be no more looseness.
Taking care of the appliance is necessary
If the appliance becomes damaged, it can lengthen treatment time. The teeth and jaw cannot move into the proper position unless the patient wears the headgear, elastics, retainer and any other appliances prescribed by the orthodontist.
Brushing teeth is important
With braces, it is necessary to brush and floss every time a patient eats. This will keep a person’s teeth and gums healthy throughout the treatment time. If a patient does not understand the proper way to brush with braces, an orthodontist can demonstrate the right technique.
Playing sports is possible
It is still possible for patients to continue playing sports even with braces. It is recommended that the patient wear a mouthguard to better protect the dental appliance and their teeth from any impact. If the appliance becomes damaged while playing sports, it is important to call the orthodontist immediately.
Follow the orthodontist's advice for a happy life with braces
Having braces does not have to affect your life too much. Avoid specific foods and follow your orthodontist’s instructions. Then you will have a better chance at success with this teeth straightening treatment. Remember the facts about wearing braces and have some patience. Oh, and prepare yourself for a straighter smile.
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