Overall, aside from a few adjustments, wearing braces won’t have a huge impact on your day-to-day life. You’ll get used to the brackets and wires quickly and forget they’re even there. By following Dr. Patel’s instructions and familiarizing yourself with the tips below, you’ll sail right through treatment and have an awesome smile to show for it. If you ever have any questions or you’re unsure of something, please, give us a call at (918) 342-1240 (Claremore) or (918) 749-8817 (Tulsa). We’re always available to help. Now, on to what you need to know about life with braces in Tulsa and Claremore.
Brushing and Flossing With Braces
The brackets and wires from your braces will create more places for food and plaque to hide, so it’s important that you pay extra attention to your oral hygiene to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. This will also help prevent stains and make sure your smile isn’t just straight when your braces come off, but dazzling too!
- Brush in the morning, before bed and after every meal for two minutes each session. If you’re out and about and have a snack but forget your toothbrush, rinse your mouth out really well with water and brush when you get home.
- Brush all of the surfaces of your teeth, in between your braces and behind your back molars thoroughly and use circular motions to brush along the gum line. Use a non-whitening, fluoride toothpaste.
- You can use a proxy brush if needed to get in between your braces.
- Floss at least once a day, preferably before bed. Use an orthodontic flosser or regular dental floss with a floss threader. Work the floss under the wire and in between any two teeth. Floss up and down the side of one tooth and then up and down the side of the other before moving on to the next pair.
- Ask Dr. Patel or your general dentist if they’d recommend a fluoride rinse. This can be helpful for patients who are prone to cavities. You can also use an over-the-counter fluoride mouthwash to zap any lingering bacteria and keep your pearly whites strong.
- Be gentle with your braces. While they’re durable, they can break if you don’t take care.
- Visit your regular dentist for checkups every six months or as often as recommended.
What to Eat With Braces
Even though putting your braces on is a snap, we ask patients to give the brackets a full day to properly affix to the teeth. That’s why it’s a good idea to stick with soft foods for the rest of the day following your bonding appointment. Also, after adjustments, if your teeth are feeling sensitive, soft foods and cold drinks can work wonders. Otherwise, you can pretty much have all of the foods you love with a few notable exceptions, which we’ll get to. Eating a balanced, healthy diet and enjoying sweets and junk food in moderation will create the healthiest environment for your teeth and ensure there are as few disruptions to your treatment as possible. Here are some of our favorite braces-friendly foods:
- Soft tortillas
- Muffins without nuts
- Mashed potatoes
- Fruit cups
- Other ripe, soft fruits
- Steamed and roasted veggies
- Soft-cooked meats and fish
- Meatballs and meatloaf
- Lunch meats
- Fish sticks and crab cakes
- Cooked lentils
- Jell-O, pudding, milkshakes, ice cream without nuts (in moderation)
- Soft cheese
As we noted, there are some foods to avoid as they can damage your brackets and wires. Stay away things that are very chewy, sticky or hard, including these common offenders, until your braces come off:
- Corn on the cob (you can strip it from the cob and eat it though)
- Whole, raw apples, carrots and celery (tiny, bite-sized pieces that you chew with your back teeth are okay)
- Candy bars
- Corn chips
- Hard taco shells
- Hard candy
- Beef jerky
- Soda (it can cause cavities, especially when you’re wearing braces)