Here are some benefits of braces and some essential tips to make your journey with braces easier, focusing on eating, oral hygiene, and comfort.
Benefits of Braces
Bracing provides a multitude of benefits for individuals with orthodontic needs. Firstly, braces help correct misaligned teeth and improve bite alignment, leading to better oral health and functionality.
By straightening the teeth, braces make it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene, reducing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental issues. Moreover, braces can address various bite problems, such as overbite or underbite, improving chewing and speech abilities.
Not only do braces contribute to a healthier mouth, but they also enhance one’s smile and boost self-confidence. The long-lasting results of braces provide individuals with a beautiful and aligned smile that can positively impact personal and professional aspects of life.
Eating with Braces
Having braces can sometimes make eating a little challenging, but with a few simple tips from an orthodontist, you can enjoy your meals while taking care of your orthodontic appliances. Here are some helpful tips for eating with braces:
Choose Softer Foods
Opt for softer foods that require less chewing, such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, soups, and pasta. These types of foods are easier on your braces and reduce the risk of damaging them.
Cut Your Food into Smaller Pieces
Breaking your food into smaller, bite-sized pieces can make it easier to chew and prevent any unnecessary strain on your braces. Use a knife or fork to cut up your food into manageable portions.
Avoid Sticky and Hard Foods
Sticky foods like caramel, gum, and taffy can easily get stuck in your braces and be difficult to remove. Similarly, hard foods like nuts, popcorn, and ice can potentially damage your braces. It’s best to avoid these types of foods during your orthodontic treatment.
Take Smaller Bites
When eating, try taking smaller bites to minimize the amount of pressure on your braces. This can help reduce discomfort and the risk of brackets or wires becoming loose.
Be mindful of how you chew your food. Try to distribute the pressure evenly on both sides of your mouth to avoid putting excessive strain on one specific area.
Rinse After Every Meal
After eating, rinse your mouth with water to remove any food particles stuck in your braces. Swishing water around your mouth can help dislodge any stubborn bits.
Take Your Time
Eating with braces may require a little more time and patience. Slow down and take your time to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. This can help prevent any potential issues or discomfort.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial when wearing braces. Here are some tips to keep your teeth and braces clean and healthy:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Pay extra attention to brushing around the brackets and wires to remove any plaque buildup.
Use Interdental Brushes or Floss Threaders
Interdental brushes can help clean hard-to-reach areas between the braces, while floss threaders make flossing easier. Incorporate these tools into your daily oral hygiene routine to ensure thorough cleaning.
Rinse with Mouthwash
An antimicrobial mouthwash can help kill bacteria, reduce plaque formation, and freshen your breath. Swish the mouthwash around your mouth for 30 seconds after brushing and flossing.
Drinking plenty of water helps wash away food particles and keeps your mouth hydrated. It also stimulates saliva production, which aids in fighting bacteria and reducing plaque buildup.
Schedule Regular Dental Cleanings
Visit your orthodontist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups. They can remove any stubborn plaque or tartar and ensure your braces are in good condition.
Ensuring Comfort with Braces
Braces can sometimes cause discomfort or soreness. Here are some tips to alleviate any discomfort you may experience:
Gradually adjust to eating with braces.
Eating with braces can be a challenge, especially during the first few days after getting them. Soft foods, such as pasta, soups, and mashed potatoes, are recommended initially. Avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy foods that can damage or loosen your braces.
As your teeth adjust to the braces, you can gradually reintroduce harder foods. To avoid discomfort while eating, cut your food into small pieces and chew slowly, using your back teeth.
Use Orthodontic Wax to Soothe Irritation
When you first get braces, you may experience irritation or sores on your lips and cheeks. Your orthodontist may advise you to apply orthodontic wax over the brackets and wires to help reduce discomfort and prevent irritation.
Simply pinch off a small amount of wax, roll it into a ball, and flatten it onto the bracket or wire, causing irritation.
Rinse Your Mouth with Saltwater
Saltwater is a natural antiseptic that can help reduce swelling and inflammation of the gums and tissues inside your mouth.
To make salt water rinse:
- Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water.
- Swirl the solution around your mouth for 30 seconds and spit it out.
- Repeat this process two to three times daily to alleviate any discomfort you may be experiencing.
Use an Orthodontic Mouthguard During Physical Activity
If you participate in sports or any physical activity that poses a risk of injury to your mouth, use an orthodontic mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces. Mouthguards cushion your teeth and braces during impact, reducing the risk of damage and discomfort.
Orthodontist in Eugene, OR
Adjusting to life with braces may require some time and patience, but it’s worth it for the beautiful smile that awaits you at the end of your orthodontic journey. By following these tips on eating, oral hygiene, and comfort, you can make the most out of your braces experience and ensure a smooth transition.
Whether you want to correct your overbite or underbite, desire a whiter, brighter smile, or want to align your teeth and close tooth gaps, our family dentist at 360 Dental has you covered. Our family dentist, Dr. Ari Binder, is an expert in all areas of cosmetic and general dentistry and offers a wide range of orthodontic treatments, including braces, to help you achieve your ideal smile faster and easier than you ever thought possible.