If you have gappy, overlapping or misaligned teeth, braces can provide a suitable solution for straightening them to present a beautiful smile. However, a traditional orthodontic treatment that consists of placing tiny brackets and wires on your teeth can make it difficult for you to look after your teeth during the process. Of course, you should also look after the braces such that the brackets and wires remain intact and in their original positions – the wires can also slide if tampered with.
Here are some tips to look after your braces and get the best results from your orthodontic treatment:
In the first couple of days immediately after the installation of the braces are fitted – and following each adjustment is done periodically at the clinic – your dentist will advise you to consume soft food. You can continue your normal diet after that initial period, although you should still avoid certain hard foods that would risk damaging the braces.
Hard and crunchy foods like seeds, nuts, frozen food, popcorn and beef jerky can damage the wires of the braces and loosen the brackets. Even foods like carrots and apples may be problematic as they can dislodge the braces when you bite into them with your front teeth.
Cutting your crunchy foods into bite-size pieces would make them easier to chew slowly with your back molars. Another hard chew to avoid completely is that of ice cubes, especially for those who have a habit of crushing remaining ice cubes after finishing their cold drinks.
Sticky foods like toffee, caramels and chewing gum stick to your braces and may even get trapped in the wires and brackets. Being high in sugar content, you should avoid candied foods as oral bacteria thrive on sugar to produce acids that eat away at your tooth enamel and cause tooth decays.
The stickiness of such food items also means that they come into contact with your teeth for a longer time, making your teeth more prone to cavities. Similarly, you should avoid sugary and highly acidic beverages like sodas, pops, carbonated drinks and fruit juices.
During the teeth straightening process, you should take all precautions to avoid getting cavities or tooth decay as they may derail your treatment. If you have to consume sugary drinks, use a straw to minimise contact with your teeth.
During the orthodontic treatment, taking the time and effort to keep your teeth and braces clean can help you avoid problems such as tooth decay, inflamed gums, and 'tooth decalcification'. Decalcification refers to the removal of calcium ions from the surface of your teeth, which can leave behind white spots following the removal of the brace.
Last but not least, it is vitally important that you keep up the dental check-ups and professional cleaning with your regular dentist. While you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, the dental visits can make sure the brackets are kept clean and your teeth checked for any underlying problems – including gingivitis. The cleaning sessions can also reduce the potential of cavities and tooth decay during the orthodontic treatment.
If you are considering braces, contact one of our friendly dentists for an orthodontic evaluation to see whether you would make a good candidate and find out what straightening options are available.
If you are currently on braces, give us a ring for a regular check-and-clean session to take optimal care of your braces during treatment. Contact Face Value Dental on 07 3221 0677 or click here for more information.