Life with Braces
By getting braces at Zoka Orthodontics, you’ve made a tremendous contribution to your quality of life, and an everlasting benefit of providing an ideal environment for oral hygiene. Simply put, straight teeth are easier to keep clean, and a well-aligned bite can prevent premature wear of teeth leading to chipping and fractures.
Protect your investment in your oral health and confidence, and get the most out of your treatment by following these guidelines while you have braces.
Eating with Braces
Some of the most common questions we hear at our Camarillo orthodontic office have to do with what you can and can’t eat with braces. Keep in mind that your brackets are glued to your teeth, so any tearing or pulling movements may dislodge them. Hard and chewy foods are almost always the culprits of broken brackets.
Here are the most common foods that need to be avoided when you have braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candy
Foods that require biting into, like corn on the cob, apples, and carrots, can be eaten if cut up into small pieces.
Dealing with Discomfort
Braces work by putting a constant force on the teeth to move them into proper positions. Brackets are put in somewhere in the middle of the teeth and the heat-sensitive wires that are engaged in the brackets want to go back to their straight form. You may notice that your teeth are slightly loose, but this is natural since they are moving.
Everyone responds differently to getting braces, but typically the first wires are going to make the teeth sore enough that over-the-counter pain medications will be necessary for three days. The first wires are shocking the teeth and exerting pressure to make them move, so it is natural for them to get sore. After that, discomfort should be minimal.
Brushing and Flossing
Did you know…
It only takes 20 minutes for plaque to start producing acid that causes cavities? That’s why brushing after meals is so important when you have braces. They act like a plaque trap!
Brushing and flossing with braces takes longer, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Brush your teeth three times a day, preferably after each meal. Brush the braces, the surfaces below to massage the gums, and the surface above the braces. Use a floss threader to floss every night.
Questions about braces care? Ask a member of our team at your next appointment to our Camarillo orthodontist, Dr. Ray Zoka.