The goal of this article is to go through a few of the questions people have with regards to what everyday life is like when you have braces…
Q) What’s an Adjustment and What Does the Process involve?
Basically when you go see your orthodontist every month or so, you re going in to get your little elastic ligatures changed and often times the arch wire is also replaced.
Q) How Come I’m Drooling a lot more Now I’ve Got Braces?
The fact that your mouth is now producing a whole lot more saliva is something that happens to almost everyone that gets braces. It’s thought that the mouth gets a little confused mistaking the brackets that are on your teeth for food and therefore it produces more saliva to help you digest this “food”!
Q) I’ve Noticed Gaps Between My Teeth That Weren’t There Before… Should I Be Concerned?
Naturally the process of your orthodontic treatment involves slowly moving your teeth into the correct alignment, which will often mean that during the process you may get some temporary gaps as your bite and tooth alignment is changing.
You need not be worried because by the time your treatment is finished your teeth and bite will be in perfect order and you’ll walk away extremely happy with the results. If however you are concerned then be sure to bring it up next time you see your orthodontist.
Q) Am I Going To Have to Brush My Teeth After Every Meal When I Have Braces?
Well, it all depends on what you happen to be eating. Often, after consuming food you will find that food gets stuck between the brackets on your teeth.
This not only looks awful but it will result in you having to deal with issues like tooth decay and bad breath if you don’t treat it. You will also feel strange because you will be able to feel the food stuck on your teeth.
Believe me, it is very easy to get food stuck in between your braces!
Sometimes you’re not going to be able to brush your teeth, but in general you will want to try and brush them as often as you possibly can!
On top of brushing regularly, you will also want to make a habit of flossing your teeth every single night before you go to bed.
You might think your teeth are clean after brushing them but you’ll be surprised at how much food gets stuck between your teeth.
Q) My Teeth Are Really Hurting Me… Is There Anything I Can Do To Get Rid of the Pain?
You should expect to be in quite a bit of pain during the first few weeks of getting your braces put on. You will have this constant feeling of pain in your mouth and teeth specifically. Most orthodontists will recommend that you take some ibuprofen to help ease the pain you feel when it gets too much to bear.
Q) What Am I Allowed To Eat? Should I Really Listen To My Orthodontist and Avoid Foods They Mention to Never Eat?
The truth is that your braces are very delicate and can easily break if too much pressure is applied to them. It is for this reason that you will want to stick mostly to soft foods. Try your best to eat tiny mouthfuls and chew your food very slowly.
You’ll also want to avoid eating foods that are very stringy such as melted cheese. These kinds of foods will just get stuck in your braces and can take forever to get out!
You will also want to avoid biting into your sandwiches. Take your time and use a knife and fork to cut your sandwiches and burgers into small pieces that you can eat with ease. Personally I encourage all my patients to do this for the entire length of their treatment.
This stage of only eating soft foods is a stage that is only going to last a few short weeks after which your mouth and gums will have gotten used to your braces.
Pretty much every orthodontist out there recommends that you avoid certain foods during the course of your treatment. These include sticky/chewy foods such as Haribo’s and extremely tough foods such as nuts.
Again your braces are extremely delicate and eating chewy or tough foods will increase the chances that you end up breaking them which will only prolong your treatment.
Q) Is It Possible For My Brackets To Come Off?
Yes, simply because your brackets are only stuck to your teeth with a bit of glue. If this glue wears off then the bracket will just come off.
If you happen to find that one of your brackets has fallen off then you must call your orthodontist immediately to get a new one fixed on. Don’t worry because this happens to a lot of people.
If you find yourself in the situation where your brackets keep coming off then you need to sit down with your orthodontist and talk to them properly. Gluing the brackets onto your teeth can sometimes be a little tough depending on where your teeth are positioned and it can mean having to try several times before getting it perfectly right.
Q) Am I Going To Be Able To Wear My Headgear Only At Night?
The reality is that no person out there wants to wear headgear during the day, but you need to appreciate that it is a very, very important part of your treatment.
The truth is that if you don’t wear your headgear for the recommended hours then you simply won’t get the desired end result as fast as is possible. This will essentially mean that you are going to have to wear the headgear for a lot longer.
Trust me, just listen to your orthodontist and wear it for the recommended number of hours to get the best results possible.
Q) What Purpose Do the Elastics Serve?
The basic purpose of the elastics is to help get your teeth and bite aligned in the proper way. This is why they are so important to wear in the recommended manner.
You really need to make sure that you are wearing the elastics for at least the recommended number of hours that your orthodontist tells you to wear them. This will ensure that your treatment goes according to plan.
Q) What Should I Do About the Canker Sores That Have Developed as a Result of My Braces?
The number one cause of canker sores when you have braces are the brackets that are in your mouth. These rub up against the insides of your mouth which cause the sores to develop. All you need to do is apply a bit of dental wax to the bracket that is causing the sore which will prevent any further friction from occurring. To combat the sores that have developed I’d recommend that you use a bit of medication which you can get from any good pharmacist.
Q) Will Ceramic Braces Stain My Teeth?
The stains are not caused by the brackets but rather they are caused by the little elastic ligatures that are used to hold the arch wire in place.
The good news is that the stains are temporary because your orthodontist will replace them at every adjustment appointment you go to.
Q) Will I Be Able To Smoke My Cigarettes or Cigars With Braces On?
Yes, you are going to be able to smoke but you need to know that this will likely cause staining which won’t look good at all.
Q) Will a Pregnant Woman Be Able to Wear Braces?
Yes, these days you are going to find that a lot of pregnant women will choose to go ahead with orthodontic treatment. There should be no issues whatsoever as long as you maintain good dental health throughout the period of treatment.
Q) Will You Be Able to Snorkel or Scuba Dive When You Have Braces?
Absolutely, but it is recommended that you have your braces on for at least a couple of months before scuba diving or snorkeling so that you’re used to having braces in your mouth.
Q) Will You Be Able to Play Wind Instruments While Wearing Braces?
Of course you can! There are many companies out there that make special lip protectors and mouth guards so that you can go ahead and play your wind instrument as normal.
The best thing to do is ask your orthodontist for one that they would recommend. Often times your orthodontist will be able to make you a custom lip guard.
Q) What’s The Best Way To Keep My Braces Clean While Eating Out or During Travel
The people who eat out or travel regularly usually carry a personal dental kit with them. This kit contains everything they need such as a dental pick, floss and threader, a toothbrush and of course some toothpaste.
This way no matter where they happen to be they can be sure that they will be able to clean their braces wherever they are.
There you have it; answers to some really common questions on what every day life is like with braces on!