Tips for Braces

Tips to Enjoy Your Time With Braces

It may not come naturally to enjoy your time wearing braces, but believe it or not, it is possible to have fun with the process of transformation. If you’ve recently gotten braces, then Silver Lake Orthodontics would like to congratulate you! Braces can transform your appearance in miraculous ways! It’s normal to feel apprehensive about orthodontic treatment when you first begin the process, but we want our patients to remember that there are a number of positive experiences that you can have as a result of treatment.

First of all, by seeking out braces and submitting to this treatment, you’re making a statement about your personal feelings of self-worth and your commitment to improving both your appearance and your overall health. It will be exciting to watch the changes that take place as your teeth slowly become straighter and straighter. With a more attractive smile, you can expect to feel changes in your self-esteem and self-confidence.

When you walk out of the office at Silver Lake Orthodontics for the first time, it’s important for you to embrace the appearance of your new braces. You aren’t alone! A lot of teenagers and adults are undergoing treatment with traditional braces1 so you’ll have this in common with our other patients. The appearance of the braces is somewhat customizable. You can choose what color rubber bands you’d like to wear. A lot of students choose their school colors or some other meaningful options depending on the season. Feel free to express yourself with the colors of your braces.

Inevitably, at times, you may feel annoyed with wearing your braces. At these times, we recommend that our patients focus on the final outcome of what they hope to achieve. Obviously, a straighter, healthier smile is the most likely outcome along with higher levels of self-confidence. We regularly remind our patients to visualize the end result of treatment and to stay focused on that goal.

Often, patients who are straightening their teeth using traditional braces experience some pain and soreness in the mouth when the braces are first placed and after monthly adjustments. This discomfort will usually go away within 3 to 4 days after the adjustments are made. At first, the skin on the cheeks and lips may feel sore and irritated from rubbing up against the brackets. Over time, they’ll get used to the braces and the irritation will go away. In the meantime, using dental wax can help buffer the problem. The wax is placed over the brackets so that areas that are tender can heal. A warm salt water rinse is an old remedy that can be used to encourage healing (1 teaspoon of salt in lukewarm water).

During those initial days after an adjustment, using over-the-counter pain meds can make a big difference in terms of your discomfort level. Your teeth may still be sore, but by taking medications on schedule, as recommended, the pain will be almost unnoticeable. Cold foods like ice cream, frozen yogurt, or popsicles can also take the edge off, but patients need to avoid crunching the ice with their teeth! Biting down on something hard like ice can cause the metal brackets to break off.

Which brings us to another important consideration: food2. There are certain foods that work well with braces and certain foods that do not. We recommend that our patients pay closer attention to what they eat while they’re wearing braces. It’s not that you have to eat boring or tasteless foods, but rather that you need to think about what you’re putting into your mouth with greater care. Most of us can benefit from paying extra attention to the foods we put into our bodies so having braces is an opportunity to do just that. Take some time to experiment with new recipes that are friendly to braces. Softer foods like dairy products including yogurts and cheeses are a good choice as well as fruit smoothies, and other foods that are easy to chew. Steaming vegetables can make them softer and much easier to eat. And fruits like bananas make an excellent snack for patients with braces.

On the other hand, you’ll also need to avoid certain foods like corn on the cob or uncooked carrots and apples. These foods can break off the metal brackets and cause you more woe than they’re worth. If you simply can’t live without them, cut them up before you eat them to avoid having to make unnecessary trips to the orthodontist to get missing brackets replaced.

And finally, make yourself a travel dental kit to take with you when you’re not at home. People with braces inevitably spend more time cleaning their teeth than they would normally have to. Food will get stuck in the brackets and the wires. And this can be embarrassing as well as bad for your oral health. But if you have a dental kit that you carry with you whenever you leave home, care of your teeth and braces will be exponentially increased and the possibility of embarrassment will be substantially decreased. Dr. Ballard a Sandpoint orthodontist adds that with a travel dental kit you can be a lot more comfortable with your braces. Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and a small mirror with you for best results. Dental picks and orthodontic wax can make life easier and more comfortable as well.

By following some of these guidelines, life with braces won’t be that bad! And by taking care of yourself and your braces, you can more readily enjoy your personal metamorphosis with excitement rather than irritation.

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