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Brace Yourself for Success: 5 Tips to Navigate Your Braces Treatment!

Congratulations on starting your braces journey!  I like to call Orthodontics a “team sport”; it is a collaborative effort between the orthodontist and the patient.  To ensure a smooth and successful treatment, consider these essential tips:

1)      Mind your diet:


During your treatment, steer clear of sticky or crunchy foods that could potentially damage your braces. Please avoid gum, sticky candy, pretzels, chips, pizza crust, biting into an apple or a carrot- you get the idea!  These tempting treats may cause the braces to break off, setting your progress back.  Teeth start to move backwards when they “break free” from the braces and so we move backwards in treatment.  


Surprisingly, items like bagels and bread, often overlooked by patients, have been known to cause bracket breakages.  While you can enjoy bagels and bite into sandwiches with softer bread, be sure to take smaller bites.  This caution extends to the initial days of treatment, when the adhesive is still setting.  Opt for smaller bites during this period and focus on soft foods like smoothies, yogurt, mashed potatoes, and soup to avoid any unforeseen mishaps. Should anything break, promptly inform our office so we can efficiently address the issue.


2)      Manage discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers:


It's perfectly normal to experience some discomfort in the first few days with braces.  To ease the achiness, feel free to take over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol or Advil as needed (the same as you would use for a headache).  Remember, this discomfort is temporary, and soon your braces will “become a part of you,” so while they feel super strange now, it will one day feel weird when they come off!


3)      Prioritize oral hygiene:


With braces, the biggest risk is increased risk of cavities because there are more nooks and crannies food can get caught in.  To maintain good oral health, brush your teeth thoroughly at least three times a day, paying extra attention to the gumline.  Employ a circular motion, spending about 10 seconds on each tooth, both on the cheek and tongue sides.  Flossing daily is crucial but may require a bit more effort. Don't forget to attend your regular dental checkups every six months to catch any issues early.


4)       Attend regular orthodontic appointments:


Regular visits to our office, typically every 4-8 weeks, are essential to keep your treatment on track. These visits allow us to make necessary adjustments and “tighten” your braces, ensuring progress and efficiency.  Missing appointments will only prolong your treatment time.


5)      Wear your rubber bands:

As your treatment progresses, you will most likely be introduced to rubber bands.  When instructed to wear them, follow the guidance carefully.  Rubber bands play a crucial role in correcting your bite by connecting your upper and lower teeth.  Adhering to the instructions ensures the effectiveness of this corrective measure.

Be sure to follow these 5 steps during your braces treatment.  By doing so, you will contribute significantly to the efficiency and success of your braces journey.  Embrace the process, and before you know it, you'll be flashing a beautiful well-aligned smile! 😊


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