If your dentist recommended braces to straighten your teeth or correct a bite, your daily routine may change a bit. While you won't notice any drastic changes in your day-to-day activities, there are some things you'll need to know while wearing your braces and after your orthodontist removes them. Here are some minor changes you may experience during your orthodontic treatment that your braces services professional may want to discuss with you.
Your orthodontist will advise you to limit your intake of crunchy or hard foods as well as sticky foods because they can get under your brackets, leading to dental decay. Because raw fruits and vegetables are healthy and a necessary part of a healthy diet, instead of avoiding them, your dentist may recommend that you cut them up into small pieces and chew them slowly and thoroughly so that you don't break a wire or bracket.
You'll need to take a few more minutes during your oral hygiene routine while wearing your braces. Because food can get stuck under your brackets, you'll need to be extra vigilant when brushing and flossing.
Instead of flossing how you normally would, you may need to use a floss threader to get behind your wires. You can also use a water flosser with a special tip on it. Water flossers may remove more food particles and plaque than traditional string floss or flossing picks.
When brushing your teeth, be sure to use a fluoridated toothpaste or ask your dentist about recommending an oral rinse that contains fluoride. Doing so may prevent decalcification, which may show up as white spots on your teeth.
If you engage in any physical activity such as playing sports or bike riding, wear a mouth guard. It will help protect your braces and teeth from damage and injuries. You can purchase a mouth guard at your local pharmacy, however, if you want a mouth guard appliance custom made for the precise dimensions of your mouth, talk to your dentist.
He or she will take measurements of your mouth so that a custom mouth guard can be made to your specifications. Custom mouth guards may be costlier than over-the-counter guards, but they offer more protection.
After your orthodontist removes your braces, you will need to wear a retainer to make sure your teeth don't shift. Your orthodontist may recommend that you wear your retainer for at least a year after getting your braces off, however, he or she may recommend a shorter or longer period of time. You may need to wear your retainer all day and night for the first few months or so, then you may only have to wear it at night when you go to sleep.
To learn more about what to expect while you are wearing braces and after you have them removed, talk to your orthodontist. He or she will answer all of your questions and address your concerns so that you feel more comfortable during your orthodontic treatment.