Love it or hate it, most of us will experience a period of our lives with braces on. Your doctor is bound to tell you all of the reasons why you need them, but there are a few other things that he will almost assuredly leave out from that discussion. Wearing braces can change your daily routine, so being prepared for the worst will help you get the most out of this strange new time in your life.
Be ready to brush a lot!
Most doctors will give you a list of items that you just cannot eat with braces. Hard candy, potato chips and even your trusty apple a day will have to disappear for a while. What your doctor most likely won’t mention is that just about everything you do eat will get stuck in your braces. It doesn’t matter if its macaroni and cheese or a nice, healthy salad. Little pieces of food get stuck in your braces all the time. To combat the proverbial spinach in your teeth you will need to keep a toothbrush handy and brush literally after every meal.
Not your normal toothbrushing…
Brushing is also going to be a new adventure for you. When you spit, it might look like something from a horror movie. That strange looking substance that comes out is all the food that has been tied up in your braces. It’s not a problem but you should be prepared for some rude awakenings looking into your sink right after brushing!
Wait, I can’t floss?
Yet another part of your daily routine that is going to change is how you floss. You literally can’t do it with standard floss. Your dentist will have to give you a special type that can fit underneath each wire. Things like this increase the amount of time you are going to need to take proper care of your teeth during this entire brace wearing period.
Biting your tongue
Be ready for your bite to change with braces. Your teeth are moving and repositioning during this period which makes it likely that you are going to bite your tongue or cheek a few times in those early days. Most dentists won’t think about mentioning this but slow down when you are eating and chew carefully.
Bring on the pain
A little bit of pain will be normal while you have braces on realigning your teeth. Even the slightest shifts can cause some strange aches and pains. These should only last a day or two, and may disappear and resurface frequently. Don’t be alarmed – a little pain is to be expected. If it gets to be a big nuisance, have your favorite painkiller handy.
Don’t expect a change overnight. The movement of your teeth is a gradual process, believe me if it happened any faster you would be in a lot of pain. Many people get disappointed after a few weeks when there is no apparent change but have faith! One day you might see yourself in the mirror and see your smile in a brand new way.
Check for allergies
You could have allergic reactions to either the braces themselves, or various elements in the adhering process. From nickel to latex, there are various substances that cause bad reactions in certain patients. Make sure to discuss this with your dentist to ensure the smoothest process possible.
Keeping your teeth dry
Lastly, when your dentist is adhering the braces to your teeth he/she will use either a tongue retractor or a soft rubber circle to keep your tongue from brushing up against your teeth. This is necessary to keep your teeth completely dry so that your braces can actually stick. The tongue retractor appears more like a medieval torture device and most people find it very uncomfortable. Your dentist probably won’t tell you about it, but you usually have an option so make sure and ask for the ‘other’ tool!
When it’s time to look for braces, find a local dentist that you trust and enjoy visiting like Dr. Stoner Dentistry. This whole process takes time, and your dentist will help make it as easy as possible!
License: Royalty Free or iStock
This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance wrriter and an occasional guest-blogger interested in health related topics. When she is not working she likes to travel and do yoga. If you have any question feel free to leave a comment.