Whether for yourself or your child, you have now made a huge commitment to oral health. The braces are on, and you know that for the coming months or years you or your child will have to ease off the nuts and hard candies, stay away from chewing gum and popcorn kernels, and visit the orthodontist regularly for progress adjustments. This commitment generally comes as an expensive one, also, so it makes sense to take care of this investment in your oral care and dental future.
Change your Eating Habits
As mentioned, there are things you should not eat when you have braces since they can damage the appliances and/or get stuck between or under the bands. Here are some general guidelines you can follow, but the important thing is to use your good judgment:
Foods to Avoid:
- Chewy foods such as bagels and licorice
- Crunchy foods such as popcorn and ice
- Sticky foods such as caramels and gum
- Hard foods such as nuts
- Overly sugary foods such as candy or some sweetened cereals
- Foods you have to bite into such as corn on the cob and apples
Foods to Consider:
- Dairy products such as pudding and soft cheeses
- Breads such as muffins, biscuits and sliced lunch breads
- Grains such as noodles and pasta
- Meats and poultry (watch crispy fried, though)
- Fruits such as bananas and juices – by the way, if you want an apple, just cut it up into small pieces
- Treats such as ice cream or smoothies
Beef up your Oral Hygiene Habits
How you care for your braces, and the overall oral hygiene habits you maintain, will affect you for the rest of your life. That may sound dramatic, but it is true and here’s why. First, proper care will help the braces come off on schedule instead of delaying that magical day due to problems. Second, you want your teeth to look good when the braces do come off. If you don’t take the extra steps to manage your oral hygiene now, you may see spots, stains or decay develop under the bands.
- Increase brushing: You don’t have to brush harder, just more frequently. Brush first thing in the morning, after every meal and then before you go to bed.
- Use brushing angles: Tip your toothbrush to be sure it reaches all of the surfaces of your teeth and brush using a smooth circular motion.
- Use a brushing system: Start at one side of your mouth and move slowly to the other side. By setting this routine you will be sure to cover everything.
- Floss daily: Be sure to floss between the teeth as far as you can go, then use a floss threader to get behind the wires.
- Remember your tongue: Don’t forget that bacteria can accumulate on your tongue and migrate up behind those bands if you aren’t diligent. So clean your tongue daily with your TUNG Brush and Gel to minimize the spread of bacteria.
The bottom line? Make the effort now to care for your braces and you will reap the benefits for years to come. The extra time spent will definitely pay off!
Now go treat yourself to a milkshake or a banana smoothie 😊