Few things pay off as well as braces for a happy, healthy smile. Braces are a life-long investment that will pay off well with proper care, and while it may seem tricky at first, it’s all about finding a routine and getting used to avoiding some things (like sugar and corn on the cob). It’s worth it!
The staff at Cavanaugh and Nondorf Orthodontics are well acquainted with the challenges some might face with braces. Here are five tips and tricks to help make that huge investment just a little bit easier to navigate.
- Floss is your friend! Flossing is a good idea after every meal, before bed, and when you get up in the morning, even if you don’t have braces. Flossing can be a bit tricky with braces, but there are tools you can use to get in between brackets.
“Waterpiks are important tools to consider when you have braces,” said Dr. Robert Cavanaugh. “They help get in where flossing might not, and they are available at most major retailers, so you don’t have to visit your orthodontist to get them.”
Believe it or not, oral health is tied to the health of the rest of your body in several ways. Flossing helps reduce the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and more. Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, so keeping it healthy is a step forward in maintaining good overall health.
- Choosing soft-bristled toothbrushes over hard bristles helps keep your gums (and braces) happy. Hard-bristled toothbrushes can be too hard on your mouth, especially if you’re heavy-handed in your toothbrushing routine. Braces might be made out of metal, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get bent out of shape. Using careful, precise strokes while brushing your teeth will still get them clean.
- Did someone say chocolate? That’s right. Hard candies are a strict no no for braces. That means no jawbreakers, gummies, M&M’s, or anything sticky. Chewy candies can get stuck in your braces and potentially cause some damage. But, since we’re all human and sugar is hard to resist from time to time, you might consider looking into some chocolate instead! Real milk and dark chocolate aren’t crunchy or hard to chew, making it a safer option for when the Easter Bunny hops his way over this April.
- A travel size toothbrush is good to have on hand in your purse or pocket when you’re out and about. That way if you go out to eat, you won’t have to deal with pesky food scraps hanging out close to your teeth for too long. Even having floss or a waterpik on hand would help if you’re out with friends and crumbs get caught in your teeth. Save yourself the embarrassment, and the germs!
- Keep your appointments with your orthodontist and dentist steady and frequent. Staying in touch with your orthodontist is the best way to prevent damage from happening. Keeping your orthodontist in the loop with your mouth health will prevent bad habits from forming and problems from surfacing.
“Cooperating with your orthodontist is extremely important,” Cavanaugh said. “There will be times when something happens with your rubber bands or brackets, and your orthodontist will need to be notified. Here at Cavanaugh and Nondorf, we see our patients every six to eight weeks, so if we don’t hear from you after three months we start to worry.”
Your mouth is changing with braces and things can still happen. Sometimes your teeth can shift, and your braces might need to be altered. If frequent issues are left untreated, your overall tenure of treatment with braces can be lengthened over time.
Want some more advice for keeping your braces in check? Check in with Cavanaugh and Nondorf Orthodontics at http://www.cnorthodontics.com/.