According to the American Association of Orthodontics, it is estimated that over four million Americans are living with some sort of orthodontic treatment which include dental retainers, dental braces and Invisalign aligners. The average age to start getting this kind of treatment is from the age of ten and onwards. Living with braces can change the way you eat, what you eat, how you clean your teeth and if you are physically active, the way you play sports.
At Vita Dental in Katy TX, we have many young people and sometimes even adults coming in and asking questions on how to navigate life with wearing braces for the amount of time we have to wear them. We will attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions with regards to how to care for your teeth while wearing braces.
- What Not to Eat and What to Eat with Caution- Whenever patients come to get their braces here at Vita Dental, one of the frequently asked questions is what can we eat? Can we have snacks, ice cream, burgers, pizza, etc? To help answer this question, thefoods that you should not eat at all of eating are chocolate bars that can be too gooey with chocolate, nuts, gum, popcorn, hard candies and chewy candies such as gummy bears. These foods can easily get stuck within the teeth and can cause broken brackets and may prolong wearing braces. The foods that you can eat but exercise caution when eating are chewy bread such as bagel and chips. Those items can easily break into small pieces and easily get stuck between teeth. It is best to have those items one at a time or break bread into small pieces to avoid being stuck in the teeth. Other foods that you should exercise caution around include corn on the cob (cut off the cob when eating), apples and carrots (cut into small pieces). Also if possible you should try and avoid drinking soda and other sugary drinks as drinking too much can lead to tooth decay.
- How to clean your teeth when wearing braces- When cleaning your teeth, it is very important to figure out how to clean them especially when wearing braces. A few good dental caring tips with regards to this is to rinse your mouth out with water which helps to get rid of any food that is lodged between the teeth. Then you should brush your teeth with toothpaste and brush the gumline at a 45 degree angle. After brushing the gumline, proceed to brush the brackets in an upward and downward motion. This process will get rid of any debris located within the teeth that can lead to plaque. When flossing your teeth, it is important to floss between the main arch wire and the upper portion of the tooth which is closest to the gum. Gently floss in a see saw motion each side of the two teeth that the floss is in between.
- Playing Sports while wearing braces– While wearing braces you do have to make some adjustments to how you eat and your dental care as far as hygiene is concerned but you can still live your life out as normal. When it comes to playing sports, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard. You should wear it over your braces to protect your mouth from damage.
- When your brackets break, what should you do? It is recommended that you call Vita Dental in Katy, TX right away so you can get immediate and affordable dental care with regards to getting this fixed. In the meantime, at home try and apply orthodontic wax between the gums or other soft tissues in the mouth and your brackets. Also if there is a broken wire try moving that wire to an end of your mouth that would be less bothersome. If that does not work, then apply orthodontic wax over the area that is protruding. Do not attempt to cut the wire as that can lead to the wire accidently being swallowed. If mouth sores occur as a result, rinse your mouth with warm salt water or an antiseptic rinse. If there are loose spacers or loose bands, an appointment needs to be made as soon as possible to put new spacers and bands in place.
Do not wait until it is too late to take corrective action to fix your teeth. Be proactive and contact us at Vita Dental through phone or email to schedule a consultation. We are located in Katy TX and we have professional dental experts that are available Monday through Friday and also on Saturday as well.