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How to deal with braces

How to deal with braces

Braces are placed on teeth to correct the alignment of buck teeth or misaligned teeth. Since they are fixed to the surface of the teeth, it becomes a tough task to manage them. They are initially painful but you get used to them in course of time. Here are some tips on how to manage braces.

Use a special brush

Special brushes known as orthodontic brushes are available to brush your teeth over the braces. You need to take extra care of your oral hygiene to prevent any cavities or decay in your teeth. If the sharp edges of the braces are hurting your lips, you can place some cotton or soft chewing gum over the sharp points to avoid laceration of lips. These special brushes need to be changed every three months.

Rinse your mouth regularly

Braces cause a lot of inconvenience while eating and chewing.There can be food lodgement on all surfaces giving rise to cavities and tooth decay. This can be avoided by rinsing your mouth regularly with water or any mouthwash. Regular mouth rinsing keeps your oral hygiene intact. Tongue cleaning too goes a long way in maintaining a good oral health. It is extremely important to keep your mouth clean for long lasting oral health, since braces allow food to remain in between the teeth. The food particles then act as a potential nucleus for tooth decay.

Avoid eating hard food

Extra care should be taken, while eating, by a person who has braces on his/her teeth. Hard food can dislodge one or two brackets supporting the main component of the braces. This may result in the entire braces being misplaced with dire consequences. Avoid eating hard foods such as non vegetarian, hard fruits and nuts. Refrain from biting with the front teeth since they are undergoing alignment and may get weakened. If the braces are dislodged, contact your dentist immediately and follow the instructions till your next visit to the orthodontist.

Oral hygiene

Oral hygiene is most vital to prevent infections and also pain and inflammation. But it can be difficult because of the braces. However, brushing and flossing is important. So, do it as much as you can within the pain free limits. Brushing your teeth is possible in a gentler manner since your teeth and gums will be sensitive and also to make sure you do not damage the rubber bands. Flossing might as well be difficult with the braces but you must try. You may not be able to get all the way to the gums with the dental floss. Try to remove the food particles stuck between your teeth as much as possible without hurting your sensitive teeth and gums and make sure you use mouth wash regularly to prevent bad breath and plaque.

Take care of your braces

Try to avoid breaking the braces as they are quite expensive. Your braces are attached to your teeth for the long term; if you accidentally break them, then the glue used to attach the braces to the teeth will destroy the enamel on the teeth. In order to prevent this from happening, follow some tips:

  1. Do not eat hard foods that you cannot easily bite and chew like popcorn, candies etc.
  2. Avoid eating sticky foods.
  3. Avoid chewing hard objects like pens, meat bones.
  4. Do not eat hard veggies and fruits as these can break the braces.
  5. Take extra care while playing sports; use a mouth guard to prevent injuries.

How to deal with braces

Common Braces Issues

Many patients are quite nervous about getting braces, mainly due to things they have heard from family or friends. Most of the time, after an explanation is given about what to expect with the braces, this nervousness will be eased. Pain and soreness with braces, breakage of appliances, and how to deal with orthodontic emergencies are common concerns.

Pain management with braces

Ways to help reduce pain and soreness with braces.

Avoiding breakage with braces

Tips to avoid breaking braces and brackets.

Cooperation with instructions

One of the most critical aspects for a shorter, more successful outcome.

Braces emergencies

How to deal with loose braces, poking wires, and broken appliances.

Oral hygiene (Video)

Tips for keeping teeth clean and healthy throughout the braces process.

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Now that you have braces, or will be getting them soon, you have joined an elite group who are working toward their spectacular smile and often share common issues. You can reduce the odds of having to deal with some of these situations, but others just come with having braces. Luckily, there are ways to deal with them.

Broken Wires and Loose Bands or Brackets

How to avoid these problems: Remember that list of what not to eat that your orthodontist provided you when you got your braces? This is why. Hard and sticky foods are the main causes of damaged wires and loose brackets and bands. The best way to avoid this problem is to not eat them until your braces are off. Another cause is getting hit in the mouth while playing sports, so be sure to wear proper protection, such as a mouth guard.

How to fix them: If a wire becomes completely detached from your braces, take it out of your mouth so it doesn’t irritate your mouth. If one end comes loose, use a pencil eraser to gently bend it back toward your teeth so it doesn’t irritate your cheeks or gums, and cover it with orthodontic wax until you can get in to see your orthodontist. It may be tempting to cut the wire shorter so it doesn’t rub the inside of your mouth, but cutting the wire should only be done if completely necessary. Try your best to cover it with wax until you can make it in to your orthodontist.

If a bracket comes loose and moves away from the tooth, it will remain attached to your wire with the elastic tie. If the elastic tie is gone, use sterile tweezers to remove the bracket from your mouth. See your orthodontist as soon as possible to have it reattached. If one of your bands comes loose, bring it to your appointment so it can be reattached.

Sore Spots in Mouth

How to avoid this problem: Unfortunately, this is just a fact of life for people with braces, especially when you first get them.

How to fix it: The sore spots are from the wire or brackets of your braces rubbing against the inside of your cheek, so removing the irritant is the first step. Figure out what part of your braces is rubbing and coat it with a little orthodontic wax. Then alleviate the pain in your cheek by rinsing it with some warm salt water. If you think the soreness is being caused by a problem with your braces, go see your orthodontist.

Lost Retainer or Headgear

How to avoid this problem: The good thing about appliances and headgear is they are removable, so they don’t have to be worn all the time and you can remove them to eat or brush and floss your teeth. However, this is also the bad thing about them because they can get lost. The best way to avoid this problem is to have a specific place you put them any time you aren’t wearing them. If you have a retainer you take out when you eat, have a plastic container of some sort to put it in until it goes back into your mouth. If you wear headgear at night, keep it on your nightstand or bathroom counter so you know where to look for it when it’s time for bed.

How to fix it: This is not a cheap problem to fix, so it’s best to avoid it in the first place. If you have looked everywhere and really cannot find your appliance or headgear, you will need to make an appointment with your orthodontist and get a replacement.

No matter how careful you are with your braces, things happen. Just do your best to take care of your braces and don’t panic if a problem arises. Use these tips and make an appointment to see your orthodontist as soon as possible.