While braces can be the best thing for your teeth – you just know that you’ll have a perfect smile once they’re off – there’s still something to be said about living with them. Living with those metal parts in your mouth can be quite a challenge because braces can easily get damaged from food and you need to be extra careful about developing tooth decay and gum disease, not to mention getting stains on your teeth. So, if you are an adult who has to live with braces, what are the things you can do to make the situation easier? Here are some top tips for adults who have to live with braces.
Things to stay away from
First of all, there are some things you should avoid doing. One of the things you shouldn’t do is bite your lip. If you are a lip biter when you’re nervous, try to be more conscious of this particular habit. Also, try not to breathe through the mouth and avoid eating sticky or chewy food (such as gum and hard candy), and stay away from foods that are too crunchy or hard.
Brushing and flossing
When you are an adult with braces and you spend the whole day in the office, you may not feel like brushing your teeth after every meal, but it’s necessary. Even if you have a snack in the middle of the afternoon, you still need to brush your teeth afterward. Particles of food can easily become stuck between the teeth and braces, increasing the risk of dental problems if the food isn’t cleaned out.
The good news is that you don’t have to floss as often – you can do it at night before going to sleep. But when you floss, pay attention to the area underneath the wires and not just between the brackets. For easier flossing, you can purchase an orthodontic flosser from a drugstore. One more tip: go for waxed floss since it’s less likely to get snagged on your braces.
Be careful with your diet
Many say that those who get braces lose weight – and it’s probably because you have to be careful with your diet. You can’t eat foods that are too high in starch or sugar since this can result in plaque buildup in the area around your brackets, as a reliable orthodontist in Ashburn VA from the American Braces Smile Center will tell you. As mentioned, stay away from chewy, sticky foods like caramel, gum, dried fruit, taffy, and even corn on the cob.
Hard foods should also be avoided, and this includes ice, beef jerky, nuts, popcorn, and the like. Even fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples can cause problems because they’re hard and can damage wires and brackets. It’s best to cut up raw veggies and fruits into smaller pieces first.