Getting braces used to be associated with awkwardness, and teens or middle-graders who got them looked forward to the day when they would finally be free of these. Today, though, there is less stigma associated with this dental appliance, especially with innovations like clear aligners.
Whether then or now, however, getting braces involves commitment and some effort to change your lifestyle. To prevent unnecessary trips to your emergency dentist, here are some things you should know if you or a family member is getting braces.
You have to come in for dental work
Your orthodontics help your teeth become straighter and your smile better. However, it is not just about aesthetics. Your braces' primary purpose is to correct your bite, fix alignment issues, and improve your oral health. As such, you need to have a teeth cleaning, dental work, and other preparations before you get your braces. For example, if you have wisdom teeth, you need to get them removed, so they don't get in the way.
Diet matters more now
You also need to have a new diet. Eliminating sticky food like caramel, bubble gum, taffy, and gummy candy is on top of the list. Remove tough food like jerky, cut apples, and de-kernel corn on the cob before sinking your teeth into them. Food like these can loosen brackets, cause damage to the wires, and get trapped in the spaces between your teeth and the dental appliance.
You must be better at brushing teeth
When you have braces, brushing your teeth becomes even more critical to oral health. Since you have dental appliances, you need to get into the crevices and gaps using special tools.
Aside from a regular-sized toothbrush, you could get an interdental brush, which could pull particles away from the archwire or clean the edges of brackets. When flossing, use a threader—it helps you get in between teeth quickly. People with braces are prone to developing dental caries; prevent emergency dental procedures by having a teeth cleaning routine.
Maintenance is essential, especially for athletes
If you regularly practice a sport, you have to protect your braces better. Wear a mouthguard so you can protect the inside of your mouth from getting cut. Braces are a commitment, and although wearing a mouthguard an extra step, it ensures that your treatment wouldn't get affected by a loose bracket or wire.
You also need to see your orthodontist every four to six weeks. Doing this ensures that your treatment is progressing and lets your specialist make adjustments when necessary. Think of it this way—your orthodontist is devoting as much time to the process as you!
Expect some pain, especially at first
Expect that there will be mild pain after the initial placement and every time the orthodontist tightens the wires. You can try sucking on ice to ease the sensations. When you're just getting used to your braces, it is good to prepare over-the-counter medication and eat soft food.
Before getting braces, it is good to be prepared and know what to expect. Even the hardiest patient will find a couple of things surprising about treatment, and being aware of them beforehand will make the experience less cumbersome. Keeping these in mind will make it all the more worth waiting for the moment your braces finally come off!
For round-the-clock dental health, visit 24/7 Emergency Dental Care. We are emergency dentists in Edmonton and Calgary, specializing in dental trauma or infections requiring immediate attention. Contact us today for your urgent dental concerns!