5 Ways to Embrace Your Braces
Wearing braces is something many people experience during their lives. In fact, more than four million Americans are currently wearing them. While having metal in your mouth isn’t always comfortable, the end result is a healthy, beautiful smile. Want to make things go more smoothly? Here are some tips and tricks to embracing your braces and making your time in them as comfortable as possible:
- Keep them clean. Braces’ brackets and wires happen to be really good at collecting food bits. To avoid damage to your teeth, try to brush after every meal. Orthodontists recommend soft-bristled brushes with small heads so you can get into all the nooks and crannies. On top of that, floss once a day. Because maneuvering floss around brackets and wires can be tricky and time consuming, add this step to your evening routine, when there’s less of a hurry. To make flossing easier, try using floss threaders, soft picks or a water flosser.
- Avoid damaging foods. You don’t want to damage the expensive hardware in your mouth, so try to stay away from foods that are too crunchy, sticky, chewy or hard—think taffy, popcorn, jerky and bubble gum. Certain foods like apples, bagels or corn on the cob should be cut up into smaller pieces. Here’s a great list of foods that are good (and not-so-good) for keeping your braces clean and working well.
- Cut down on pain and discomfort. After you go in to get your braces adjusted, you might notice some tenderness. To avoid discomfort in the future, apply lip balm (your lips can dry out after having your mouth open during your appointment) and take a non-aspirin pain reliever before your appointment. After the appointment, try rinsing with warm saltwater to alleviate some of the pain. Don’t forget to apply wax to any sharp or pointy pieces that may cause irritation.
- Build a braces kit. Make it easier to keep braces clean and comfortable when you’re on-the-go with a braces kit. The kit should include a mini toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, soft picks, wax (for pokey hooks or wires) and lip balm. These items make it easier to have good habits when you’re at school or work.
- Smile! While you may feel embarrassed or insecure about your braces, try to embrace them! Keep in mind that even some of your favorite celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Niall Horan, Prince Harry and Kendall Jenner have had braces. You won’t have them forever and they will be off before you know it.
Photo Credit: monica y garza