Braces are an effective orthodontic treatment that aligns the teeth and improves your bite. Braces improve a person’s dental health by correcting under bites, overbites, cross bites, and malocclusion.
A change of diet is important when you start out, and all through the treatment period. The right diet ensures the bands don’t snap, the brackets don’t crack, or a tooth rots under the brackets. A sugary and acidic food will cause tooth decay. Hence oral hygiene needs more attention when eating some foods.
In your first few weeks of getting braces, you can expect some discomfort, as the braces exert pressure on the teeth. Irritation may also result from the friction between the brackets and the soft mouth tissues. The dentist will give you some medical wax that you apply on the brackets to reduce friction.
Care for your teeth
Ideally, you should brush your teeth every time you eat for at least two minutes. Bacteria in the mouth are most active and present during the night time. For this reason, dentists recommend cleaning your teeth twice daily; early morning once you wake up and in the evening, using a special toothbrush that reaches in between the bracket spaces.
Use fluoride mouthwash
Fluoride mouthwash is perfect for washing out bacteria on the tongue, gums, and teeth. Flavored mouthwash is effective at killing bacteria while leaving you with fresh breath.
Eating and drinking with braces
Your whole mouth will feel tense on your first few days and nights, as the teeth and gums get used to the pressure. During this time, you are advised to stick to simple, easy to swallow foods such as pasta, ice cream, soup, mashed potatoes, applesauce, yogurt, and milkshakes.
And at all costs, avoid these five things while you wear your braces:
Hard foods and fruits
Raw carrots and apples can increase sensitivity to the tense teeth, and you may want to avoid them during the first few days of wearing braces. Sugarcane is notorious for leaving fibers sticking out between teeth. The fibers are likely to trap between brace bands and break them. Ice, hard taco shells, nuts, ice, chips, and bagels also add to the foods-to-avoid as they can easily cause strain and toothaches.
According to CHT Orthodontics, sticky foods stick to your braces and could potentially cause cavities to develop, as the toothbrush may not reach some areas of the teeth. These foods: peanut butter, caramel, taffy, and candies, stick to the brackets, and they may pull the wires off.
A thorough oral cleaning every six months gets rid of any plaque buildup and deal with early signs of periodontal diseases. Keeping these appointments is especially important when you have braces.
Sugary foods don’t do your teeth any favors. Cake, ice cream, raisins, soda pop, and pie, are your teeth’s worst enemy when you have braces. The bacteria in the mouth convert these sugars you consume, into acid, which etch away the enamel; exposing the nerve fibers and increasing teeth sensitivity.
Brush at least twice and floss at least once daily with the fluoride toothpaste and rinse off with fluoride mouthwash to get rid of plaque forming bacteria. Fluoride also gets rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath.
Coffee and tea have color pigments that can stain not only the brackets but also the teeth. These stains erode some minerals from the teeth surface and discolor the natural white color. Strong beverages with pigments are likely to stain the surface of acrylic brackets.
Acidic foods and beverages such as lemon-flavored sports drinks dissolve the surface of the enamel and cause teeth sensitivity with time. Acid also causes tooth decay, as the bacteria attack weak enamel.
Extra attention to your oral hygiene habits preserves the materials of the braces, prevents cavities, reduces chances that you will visit the dentist often due to teeth sensitivity and pain, and the treatment is successful. Chewing on sugar-free gum is the best way to stimulate saliva production, to dissolve any acids, clean out food remains and refresh the mouth.