There’s no denying that wearing braces requires a lifestyle adjustment. Every person is different and so every person will adjust in his or her own way, but there are some fundamentals that can assist everyone who opts for braces.
1. Maintain a positive attitude. Braces can be uncomfortable at times, and many people find themselves self-conscious about their appearance. Fortunately, the discomfort can usually be minimized or completely alleviated with a standard dose of over the counter pain relief but first check with your Orthodontist for a recommendation.
…every day, you’re getting closer and closer to a
smile you’ll be proud of for the rest of your life
The key here is to develop a proper sense of perspective. Be honest with yourself. You won’t be wearing braces forever. Not even close. (Most treatments last about two years.) Monitor your progress and keep in the front of your mind that every day, you’re getting closer and closer to a smile you’ll be proud of for the rest of your life. It won’t be long before you have a beautiful smile and your episode with braces will be a distant memory. And as far as what other people think about your appearance? Guess what…lots and lots of people get braces (and even more wish they had). Your friends and family won’t treat you any differently because of them.
Of course, the very structure of braces makes keeping everything clean a bit more of a challenge (but just a bit more). You’ll want to brush often and thoroughly. Most dentists and orthodontists recommend a soft bristled brush, as it can get in those hard-to-reach spots better than stiff bristles. Replace your toothbrush frequently. Use toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride. Finally – even though it can be a hassle – find a way to floss regularly. (Hint: Try floss threaders or BrushPicks.) Maintain your regular schedule of twice-a-year cleanings at your dentist.
3. Eat right. It’s important to choose a diet that is not only nutritious but is mindful of your braces. That means avoiding both hard and sticky foods. Also try to minimize sugary or acidic foods which contribute to tooth decay. Check out cookbooks (such as The Braces Cookbook) for variety.