Getting braces can be quite an adjustment. Because treatment typically lasts for 18 to 24 months, you need to plan on having your braces with you for some time. Knowing what to expect, how to care for braces, and other helpful information will ensure that you maximize your orthodontic treatment.
Eating and Braces
In general, you can eat plenty with braces. You do, however, need to avoid sticky foods like caramel, chewy foods like licorice, hard foods like nuts, and foods you have to bite into like corn on the cob. Feel free to much out on yogurt, pasta, diced chicken, green beans, bananas, and other easy-to-chew options.
Dealing with Discomfort
After the initial placement, your teeth and mouth may feel tender, which is perfectly normal. This discomfort will pass in a couple of days, after you get used to the braces. You may also experience some soreness after an adjustment.
Loose Brackets and Wires
Sometimes, wires and brackets become dislodged or break. If this happens, contact your orthodontist right away. You can place wax over the broken area to prevent irritation in your mouth.
Having braces won’t stop you from going out for basketball, football, or your favorite sport. To protect your mouth, most orthodontists recommend a mouth guard, which covers your teeth and gums.
Caring for Your Teeth
During orthodontic treatment, it is really important that you practice good oral hygiene. Braces can make you more susceptible to problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Remember to brush after each meal, floss once a day, and see your dentist for routine exams.