If you recently started orthodontic treatment, you may still be adjusting to your new braces. Believe it or not, you and your braces will become good friends over the coming months and years, so it's important to get your relationship off to a good start. Dr. Godwin has the following recommendations to prevent rocky times ahead:
Floss, floss, floss! Yes, it's a daunting task to floss around your braces, but it's the best way to prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. To make the chore easier, ask Dr. Godwin or our staff for floss threaders that can help you get dental floss into otherwise impossible areas. Just a few minutes per day will ensure that you don't face significant dental health issues when the braces come off.
Avoid sticky or hard foods. We know it's tough to forgo toffee, caramel, gum, and other sticky treats, but your braces will thank you. Sticky or hard foods can break a bracket or wire, so it's best to avoid them altogether to keep your orthodontic treatment on track.
Chew with your back teeth. If you're used to taking large bites with your front teeth, it might be time to switch your eating habits. Taking a large bite of food with your front teeth can leave your braces vulnerable to damage. Instead, cut large foods into small pieces and use your back teeth to chew. This is especially important with corn on the cob, which should always be cut from the cob.
Wear your rubber bands (aka elastics) as prescribed. While rubber bands may seem annoying, failing to wearing them according to Dr. Godwin's instructions can increase the length of your treatment by months. Wear them now to avoid problems in the future.
Be patient and give it time. While it does take some time to adjust to braces, it won't be long before your teeth and gums become accustomed to orthodontic treatment. So be patient because it will get easier. Teeth don't move over night, but before long you'll see amazing changes in your smile!