Having braces should not cause any major changes in your day to day activities. You can still dine out, sing, play a musical instrument, or have pictures taken. With proper care and maintenance, you can promote your oral health while on your way to a more beautiful smile.
If you are playing a wind instrument, several companies make mouth guards and lip protectors, although you may or may not need them.
For certain sports it is a good idea to wear a mouth guard. Ask us about recommendations based on your specific needs when you come in for your next appointment.
When making your dining choice, choose softer foods and avoid foods that are particularly hard, chewy, crunchy or sticky. Cut or tear pizza and sandwiches before eating them rather than trying to bite through them. Chopping up items like apples or carrots before eating them is a good idea. When your braces are adjusted, your teeth may be a little more sensitive, so choosing softer food like pasta, soups or a healthy smoothie can be a good choice. Please avoid chewing gum and chewing on ice.
Carefully follow all instructions you were given regarding your care at the office. Specific steps may vary depending on the type of braces you have. Be sure to brush thoroughly after any meal or snack . It is important to keep your teeth and braces as clean as possible to avoid issues. Also, rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing. It’s a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush when you will be away from home. Before going to bed at night be sure to brush thoroughly and floss carefully. It may take a little extra time but this is an important step in maintaining your oral hygiene on your way to a better smile and healthier teeth.
After you have properly brushed and flossed, your braces should look clean and shiny, making it easy to see the edges of the braces. Use a soft rounded-bristle toothbrush that is in good condition. Tooth brushes will wear out faster and need to be replaced more often when wearing braces, so be sure to keep some spare toothbrushes on hand. When brushing you should also brush your tongue and rinse thoroughly when done.
Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene. With braces it may take a little more time and practice, and a floss threader may be helpful to get the floss under the archwire. Make sure you clean along and under the gum lines with floss each night before going to bed.
Finally, dental wax can be very helpful with any areas that are irritating your mouth or gums. This can be especially helpful at night when sleeping when your mouth may get drier than during the day time when you can regularly hydrate.