Making the decision to have braces put on does come with some modifications in your lifestyle. However, with time, you can easily adjust to these modifications and improve the quality of life you have while wearing your braces. Remember, ultimately your braces will provide you with the benefit of a beautiful, functional smile that will improve your quality of life.
The first thing you may or may not need to alter slightly is your dental hygiene. With braces, it is essential to keep your mouth very clean since things can become easily trapped under your brackets. To prevent debris from collecting under your brackets, you will want to be sure to rinse and brush every time you eat. Yes, this can be frustrating, but it doesn’t take long and will keep your mouth feeling fresh.
An easy way to accomplish this is to always carry a dental cleaning kit with you. This kit should consist of a travel sized toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, dental wax, and lip balm. Having a small kit with all your dental necessities will ensure that you are able to keep your teeth clean while you’re out and about.
At home, you will also want to take special care when brushing your teeth. In addition to fully brushing all the surfaces of your teeth, you will now also need to brush on and around the brackets. When you are finished, the metal should be shiny. If the metal is dull, then it indicates poor brushing. Because you are also brushing your brackets, your toothbrush will wear out faster, meaning that you will need to have spare toothbrushes on hand.
In addition to adjusting your dental hygiene routine, you will also need to adjust your diet. There are certain things that are not allowed when you have braces, including excessively hard or sticky foods, but most foods are fine to eat. However, when you first get your braces, or when they are tightened, you will want to stick to soft foods.
When your mouth is already sore from treatment, eating foods that are challenging to bite or chew can cause you extra pain and discomfort. Chances are, your soreness will wear off in a day or two, so why not wait until then to eat tougher foods? In the meantime, to alleviate your hunger and sore mouth, try eating foods such as yogurt, applesauce, pasta, fish, eggs, steamed veggies, pudding, soup, and other soft foods.
Finally, remember to smile. Yes, smiling is very important and sometimes people with braces smile less because they feel self-conscious. You should not feel this way, as many other individuals have also had braces at some point in their life and they understand how the process works. Plus, altering your behavior is more noticeable than braces, so purposely not smiling will actually draw more attention to your mouth.
By making a few minor lifestyle changes, you can ensure that your life with braces is the best it can be. Although these changes may be irritating at first, you will quickly adjust to them and the time you spend with braces will pass by and soon be a distant memory.