Wearing braces can sometimes feel like a major lifestyle adjustment. Suddenly you're faced with situations you never really thought of before. What happens when you indulge in the spinach dip appetizer at your favorite restaurant? How do you handle lunchtime at school, when you're away from the comfort and convenience of your bathroom at home? Fortunately, adapting to life with braces isn't as overwhelming as it may seem. With a little preparation and a few handy supplies, you'll be a braces-wearing pro in no time.

To help make your orthodontic experience as convenient as possible, we'll send you home with a on-the-go braces care kit filled with essential orthodontic items for keeping your braces clean and comfortable.  We’ve also put together this list of helpful tips and additional dental items we recommend that will help you care for your braces while you’re at school or work.

Go Prepared

Remember to take your on-the-go braces care kit with you. It contains a toothbrush, floss, dental wax, interdental proxy brush and brushing timer. When you wear braces, it's much easier for food and bacteria to build up on the teeth throughout the day. Good oral hygiene is incredibly important to keep your smile looking as healthy as possible. You may also want to pack some toothpaste, floss threaders, a retainer case (if needed), and some OTC pain medicine. If your school nurse requires a permission form for over-the-counter medication use during the school day, our office will be happy to make that available to you.

Use Your Time Wisely

Take advantage of breaks and the lunch hour to give your braces and teeth a once over. Make sure you don’t have any food debris caught in your braces, and take the time to brush and floss. If you’ve just had your braces adjusted recently, you may feel some mild discomfort in your gums or cheeks. This is where the OTC medications and wax you packed will come in handy.

Eat the Right Food

You can prevent any possible mishaps or breakages with your braces by steering clear of foods that are sticky, chewy, and crunchy. Gum, candy, popcorn, hard chips, apples that aren’t cut into bite-sized pieces, nuts, beef jerky, and ice fall into this category. The last thing you want is to break a bracket in the middle of the day.

Choose a Removable Option

If you know before you begin orthodontic treatment that traditional braces will be a challenge due to employment and/or social situations, think about trying a removable option. For many adults with hectic schedules, clear Invisalign® aligners are convenient braces-free option. Clear aligners can be just as effective as braces for most teeth-straightening needs, and they can be removed while you’re eating, brushing, and flossing. They also tend to be more comfortable, since they don’t have metal brackets and wires to irritate your gums.

If you follow these tips and stay on your oral health routine at home, you’ll be maximizing the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment but also keeping it as hassle-free as possible. For more information on caring for your braces while on the go, contact the team at Bel Air Orthodontics.