Most people think of braces as a purely cosmetic treatment—not so! Not only will braces improve your smile, which can dramatically affect your self- image, but it makes your teeth and bite more dentally stable. Straight teeth and an ideal bite allows you to care for them more effectively and reduce wear so you will be more likely to keep your teeth for your lifetime!
Now that you have braces, you’ll need to learn how to care for your mouth and braces to ensure that you achieve the best possible smile. Here are some tips from our Bellevue orthodontist, Dr. Wallace Wong, about living life with braces!
Eating with Braces
You will need to modify your diet slightly by avoiding anything really hard, crunchy, or sticky. The key is to break or cut up into bite size pieces some foods like fresh fruits (apples) or veggies (carrots) and crusty French bread, pizza crust, pretzels, granola. If you think it will break your braces, make a different choice!
Brushing and Flossing with Braces
Brushing with braces is more challenging because there are so many places for the food and plaque to collect and hide! That is why we provide you with various brushes and supplies to make brushing and flossing as easy as possible.
You will need to brush your teeth after every time you eat and before you go to bed. At bedtime, you’ll need to follow a five-step routine to ensure your teeth and gums remain clean and healthy:
- Use your interproximal brush (a very small brush) to clean under the wire and in between each tooth
- Use the sulcus brush (a narrow brush) to clean along the gumline on the upper and lower arches
- Use your Sonicare toothbrush for two minutes
- Floss using either regular floss and floss threaders or ortho flossers
- Apply fluoride gel for one minute and swish it around in your mouths for another minute. Spit the excess out and refrain from eating, drinking, or rinsing—just go right on to bed!
Discomfort and Loose Teeth
When you first get your braces your teeth will be the sorest. You may even need an over-the-counter pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol. The tenderness may last a few days to over a week. Everyone has an individual pain threshold. The inside of your mouth will be getting used to the roughness of the brackets possibly causing irritation. Warm salt water rinses can help. Whenever a new force is introduced, for example new wires, your first chain, or starting to wear elastics, your teeth may be sore but not as uncomfortable as when you first get your appliances.
Braces use gentle forces to move your teeth, so consequently, your teeth may feel slightly loose. This is nothing to worry about. However, if a wire, band, or bracket has become loose from your tooth, call our Bellevue orthodontic office so we can schedule an appointment to replace it for you.
We not only care about your oral health, but about you as an individual. Dr. Wong and our team strive to make your orthodontic experience here as pleasant and rewarding as possible.