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how to stay cavity-free during braces

Traditional orthodontic braces make it easier for food debris to get stuck in your teeth after you eat. Those food particles could turn into plaque and bacteria build-up. In turn, plaque and bacteria can lead to cavities and tooth decay. These issues could easily hinder the whole process of aligning your teeth with the braces.

So, how can you stay cavity-free with braces? Here are our tips for you:

●    Don’t eat sweets and chewy foods that can get stuck in your braces. Sweets are the primary reason for cavities, and chewy food makes it harder to take away from your braces.

●    Get a toothbrush made especially for people with braces or be more thorough with brushing. There are electric toothbrushes, which provide more power for teeth cleaning. These sets often have interdental floss and tools for areas your brush can’t reach.

●    Drink plenty of water after you eat which helps wash away the food particles. Make sure you do this especially after eating sweets!

Perhaps the most important tip of all is to continue seeing your dentist and orthodontist. You’ll likely have an appointment with your orthodontist monthly for braces adjustments. However, you can make your appointment more often so that your orthodontist can check your teeth and gums for any issues. Remember, if you have any questions, just give your orthodontist a call.

And of course, never forget to maintain healthy oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily!

If you have braces, it is of utmost importance that you take good care of your oral health. Tooth and gum problems can hinder the development of your teeth alignment. You should also try to avoid any dental emergencies when you have braces. These include extreme tooth decay, extreme gum issues, and even broken teeth.

How To Avoid Dental Emergencies

dental emergenciesDaily Routine

The best way to do all these things is to be more extra careful with your everyday routine. Eating sweet and starchy foods should be avoided while wearing braces because these foods promote cavities. It can also be a little difficult to brush your teeth now that you have braces, but it’s very important to stick to your brushing habits. Bits of sugar and food may stay on your brackets even after you brush, so make sure to brush carefully. Flossing your teeth will help.

Activities

If you’re an active person or you join sports, the chance of getting an injury increases. Apart from being mindful of your surroundings, it’s also best to wear mouth guards whenever possible.

Lastly, be sure you still visit your dentist once in a while. They will be able to provide first-aid if necessary.

If you want to get your braces off as soon as possible, here are 6 steps you should follow.

  1. get your braces off fasterThe best tip is to follow your orthodontist’s treatment plan and instructions. Your orthodontist knows approximately how long it will take for your teeth to straighten out. In addition, your orthodontist has careful instructions that you should follow to get the best smile possible. If you have any questions, call your orthodontist’s office.
  2. Do not do things that could ruin how the braces work or take the brackets off. To avoid this, avoid eating hard types of foods. You might have to say no to corn on the cob or biting into an apple for a while. However, there are ways to still enjoy these foods without putting your braces at risk.
  3. Take a break from eating sugary and starchy foods while you have braces. These foods can cause cavities and several other teeth issues. Tooth decay and gum problems can hinder the effectiveness of your braces.
  4. If you play sports, it is especially important to protect your braces. Wearing mouth guards will help. Make sure to check whether your mouth guard fits over your braces well.
  5. Go to your dentist regularly. You should still have your teeth cleaned regularly, especially when you think a bracket is off. You can also avoid more severe dental problems with regular check-ups.
  6. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and do not go to bed without brushing. Doing so can destroy your teeth and create problems wherein your braces won’t be able to work correctly.

With just a little patience and forming good habits, you will be well on your way to getting your braces off in no time!

If you have braces, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that you stay injury-free and keep on track with your progress.

Tips For Playing Sports With Braces

mouthguard for braces protectionHere are five tips for playing sports with braces:

  1. Use a mouth guard. Mouth guards are created to guarantee that your teeth stay safe, especially in contact sports such as football. It’s also recommended that you wear your mouth guard while playing sports where you have higher chances of getting hit in the face, such as in basketball and soccer. You will quickly get used to the feeling of wearing a mouth guard during sports, and it’s definitely well worth it to ensure that your teeth stay safe!
  2. Use a mouth guard that fits your particular needs. Some mouth guards may not fit your braces, so you might want to consider having it customized to make it as comfortable as possible.
  3. Your mouth guard may be a little uncomfortable to wear at first. To get used to the feeling of having one in your mouth, wear it around the house and during practice so that by the time your sports game comes around, you don’t even notice it’s there.
  4. To make your mouth guard more fun to wear, you can have it customized and designed so it will fit your team’s color or even your favorite shows or professional teams. There are also flavored mouth guards with common flavors such as bubblegum and strawberry.
  5. If you’re not wearing your mouth guard and your teeth get injured, go to the emergency room to get checked out. First-aid is better than no aid at all.

Taking care of your teeth is one step to being a healthier and more confident person. While we can’t avoid accidents, especially in sports, we can find ways to protect ourselves when these accidents happen.

Benefits Of Straight TeethThere are plenty of advantages to having straight teeth beyond having a picture-perfect smile. Sure, having properly aligned pearly whites work wonders on one’s self-esteem and confidence. Straight teeth are not just visually attractive, but they are also good for your overall health.

Straight Teeth Prevent Tooth and Gum Problems

Because they are easier to clean, straight teeth reduce your chances of developing periodontal problems. Debris that remain in the crevices trigger bacterial growth and eventually lead to infection. Crooked teeth are harder to keep clean and with poor hygiene habits, you may experience inflammation, damage, and tooth loss.

An Aligned Bite Reduces Stress On The Jaw

Straight teeth decrease your risk of jaw problems. When your teeth are crooked or if you have a bad bite, the temporomandibular joints are compromised and irritated whenever you chew, talk, or do anything that involves opening and closing your mouth. At first you will experience mild pain, which can escalate into severe headaches. This is why orthodontists often recommend having braces installed.

Straight Teeth Stay On Longer

Because straight teeth are not exposed to pressure and are cleaned better, they naturally become healthier — and healthy teeth stay on the gum longer. With crookedness, your teeth become more exposed to wear and start to weaken.

The health benefits of having straight teeth are undeniable. This is the reason why investing in braces and alignment procedures is well worth it.

summer orthodontic treatmentPatients new to braces will need ample time to recover and adjust to the new appliance and this is why the summer break is the best time to bust them out. Orthodontists recommend that patients be readily available for any adjustments and consultations that may be required at least during the first few months. Since most new braces wearers are students, summertime is convenient.

It’s Easier To Create A Care Schedule

Setting dental visits and assessment schedules is easier in the summer because patients often have more free time and flexibility in their schedules. In addition, most families go on vacation during this time so there are more open appointment times at the office.

There’s Plenty Of Time To Adjust

Placing braces or any teeth alignment appliances takes a couple hours. This longer appointment is usually easier to work into a summer schedule. Plus, acclimating to the new lifestyle and getting used to a new oral hygiene process can be a challenge. Patients will have an easier time adjusting to their new braces if they are able to be at home relaxing and don’t have to go to school.

Fewer School Commitments

There are fewer sporting and zero school commitments in the summer. That means no homework or extra-curricular activities to consider when scheduling orthodontic appointments.

Orthodontic treatment is more than just getting a nice smile. It is a long-term commitment to achieving healthy teeth, bite, bones, and gums. It is recommend that children be evaluated for possible braces as early as 7 years old. For many people, there is no better time to start treatment than during the summer!

braces careJust because you’re on a vacation doesn’t mean your braces care regimen should take a break, too! On the contrary, because you will likely be exposed to different foods and drinks while you’re on vacation, it is important to be extra meticulous with your cleaning routine. Remember that braces are not something you can ignore — even for just a day.

The change in your schedule while on vacation could mean you might not be able to give enough attention to your braces. Here are some simple tips to follow to ensure your braces and mouth stay healthy and clean while you’re on vacation.

What Your Travel Kit Should Contain

Surely brushing is part of your daily life with braces – even when you’re on vacation. One of the most important things you should bring for the sake of your braces is a travel kit. It can just be a small pouch that fits inside your everyday bag. The point is, it should have the basic supplies and tools you need to get the gunk out of your teeth and wires.

Your basic kit should include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss threaders or wax floss, extra elastics, orthodontic wax, and a small mirror.  

Brush And Floss Daily

Stick to your usual regimen of cleaning and flossing. Brushing normally should happen at least twice a day and flossing once a day at the least. If you fall asleep at the end of an activity-packed day, make sure to floss immediately when you wake up the next day.

Watch What You Eat

There are certain types of food and beverages that can affect your braces. Needless to say, try to avoid super sticky and hard foods so you don’t break the elastics and dislocate your wires. You also don’t want the trouble of having to spend so much time taking food out of your braces.

Bring your orthodontist’s phone number with you when you’re out of town just in case of any emergencies. Better yet, scope the Internet for orthodontists in the area prior to traveling so you know where to go in case of an emergency.

TMJTMJ, which is short for Temporal Mandibular Joint disorder, is a joint condition that is commonly associated with either hearing a clicking sound when you open or close your mouth or pain while doing so. It is a fairly common issue that is often left undiagnosed because most of the symptoms are minor and manageable. However, when the pain escalates to a level that one can no longer bear, people often seek medical help and confirm the diagnosis.

What Causes TMJ?

The real cause of TMJ is unknown, but studies have found that there are certain physical manifestations that contribute to the disorder. These include jaw arthritis, injuries to the area or on the muscles of the neck and head, too much pressure on the joint from aggressive grinding or teeth clenching, and even stress. The temporal mandibular joint is in place to help us chew and talk. If the joint slides out of place or had experienced pressure or impact, TMJ can happen.

Treating TMJ is more of a management issue than finding a cure. Jaw surgery is only recommended if there is a structural problem or unbearable discomfort. More often, TMJ is addressed with resting, stress management exercises, mouth exercises, hot and cold compress, orthodontic appliances (such as a mouthguard), and pain medications.

Do Braces Cause TMJ?

Research has shown that there is no direct link between TMJ and braces. The same can be said for any other orthodontic treatment. In fact, one of the most recommended treatments for the condition is actually the installation of braces. This is because proper teeth alignment can provide serious relief and can correct any misaligned bones or joints in the mouth area.

If you believe you are suffering from TMJ, it is best to consult an orthodontist first to get properly diagnosed. Once the problem is diagnosed, your orthodontist might recommend appliances such as a mouthguard and braces in order to provide lasting relief.

new braces patientYou may feel some minor and short-term discomfort after you get your new braces. Don’t worry, as any discomfort or soreness will go away shortly and you will back to your normal eating habits.

In the meantime, here are some of the best foods to eat as a new braces patient:

1 – Chicken Noodle Soup

This delicious soup is not just a great option for when you have the flu! Those with new braces can get plenty of nutrients from this dish, which is especially crucial at a time when chewing can be difficult and a bit painful. Add healthy carbohydrates to the meal by soaking crackers or bread into the soup so they become easier to chew and eat.

2 – Bananas

Ripe bananas a great fruit when your mouth is sore because they are soft, healthy, and very easy to eat. Bananas are a great option for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack. Bananas are packed with vitamins and the nutrients that will power you through the day.

3 – Yogurt

Yogurt is a great breakfast option and will not require you to do any chewing at all. Just note that some yogurts have a high sugar content, so it’s recommended that you gargle or brush your teeth after eating yogurt.

4 – Eggs

Scrambled eggs are a great choice for those with new braces. Eggs are high in protein and will keep you full for hours. You can also add cheese and vegetables to your scrambled eggs for extra nutrition.

5 – Smoothies

Like yogurt, smoothies do not require any chewing effort to consume. Plus, the cold sensation in your mouth can help numb the inflamed parts of your gums from the new braces.

There are plenty of other types of food that can be consumed when your braces are new. Stick to soft foods that don’t require lots of chewing, and that do not put too much pressure on your teeth.

braces

Having braces entails being extra mindful of your oral hygiene. Because you have introduced a foreign and semi-fixed body into your mouth, you want to ensure that your braces have a healthy relationship with the rest of your mouth. The level of care has two phases. First, you should ensure that your teeth and gums are shielded from decay, disease, staining, and injury. Second, you must be careful not to ruin the integrity of the braces themselves so that they do not get dislodged, repositioned, or broken unnecessarily.

Here are the top ways to make sure that you and your braces live together harmoniously.

Brush Regularly

Food trapped in your braces is similar to having food trapped in between your teeth (and can even be worse). It invites the reproduction of germs which eventually lead to gum disease and foul breath. Cleaning using a soft-bristled brush after every meal removes debris from wires, brackets, and teeth. It is recommended that you get an orthodontic toothbrush in place of a regular brush, which has V-shaped bristles specially designed to reach those crevices and fit around the bars.

Floss Consistently

Daily flossing is even more important when you have braces. If getting under those bars and wires is a challenge, you can get stiff-tipped flosses designed for braces. Otherwise, using a threader with a regular floss will suffice. If your budget allows, an oral irrigator is both fast and handy. The stream of water that comes out of it is strong enough to wash off food debris and plaque. Whatever method you choose, commit to flossing at least once a day.

Show Up For Your Dental Appointments

Your orthodontist gives you a schedule for your next visit for a very good reason, so you must make sure that you stick to your visits. During checkups, your dentist will verify the integrity of your braces, see if anything needs readjustment or tightening, and conduct cleanings where necessary. Some orthodontists prefer to remove the wires before a cleaning session while others are comfortable with leaving them on.