Life with Braces

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Teen smiling with braces.

At Inspire Orthodontics, we understand that wearing braces can be a life-changing experience – not just because of the straight and beautiful smile that you’re about to have, but also because there’s a lot of daily work that goes into making sure that the orthodontic process is a success. As your children and adult orthodontist in Littleton and Highlands Ranch, we want to set you on the best path for this to happen, which is why we’d like to give you a handful of important tips to keep in mind for navigating your daily life while wearing braces.

Oral Hygiene

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is especially important when undergoing orthodontic treatment. It’s important to take extra care when cleaning your teeth because braces can make it more difficult to brush and floss your teeth properly. For brushing your teeth, you’ll want to follow these steps:

  • First, make sure you have a toothbrush that has soft bristles and then place a small strip of fluoride toothpaste on it.
  • When you start to brush, move the toothbrush in small, circular motions so that you can reach food particles that may be underneath your gum line.
  • Hold your toothbrush at an angle and continue to brush carefully, making sure to reach all of the areas between the teeth, between the braces, and on the surface of each tooth.
  • Do this for both your upper and lower teeth; you should brush down on the upper teeth and up on the lower teeth.
  • Do the same for the inside of your teeth as well.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth with a back-and-forth scrubbing motion.
  • Finally, brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth before you rinse.

For areas between your teeth that you can’t reach with your toothbrush, you’ll want to use dental floss. You can properly use a reusable floss threader that we provide by following these steps:

  • Pull one end of the dental floss through the floss threader and then push the threader underneath the archwire.
  • Grab the floss on each end and then slide it up and down the sides of both of your teeth.
  • Continue to do this until your teeth are clean; you can tell they’re clean when you start to hear the squeak of the floss against your teeth.
  • Do this between the next set of teeth as well, continuing until you’ve cleaned between all of your teeth.

Foods to Avoid

Despite the fact that the adhesive between your teeth and brackets won’t be entirely set for about 24 hours, you’ll be allowed to eat as soon as you leave our office. However, there are some foods that you’ll need to avoid throughout the entire orthodontic treatment process. These foods that you should avoid are hard foods and sticky foods. Hard foods can sometimes damage or even break the wires and brackets in your braces. Sticky foods can get caught between the brackets and wires, potentially loosening them or even pulling them off completely. You’ll also want to minimize sugary foods as they can cause tooth decay and other oral problems.

Soreness

It’s not rare for a patient’s teeth to feel sore or tender after braces have been put on or adjusted. For these circumstances, we recommend taking acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) instead of other pain relievers (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) as they slow down tooth movement. However, you can take a dose of Tylenol and a dose of Advil together for the first day or so and it should be more than enough to relieve any of your discomfort. After these first few days, you should switch to just Tylenol, using it only as needed. After about four days, your discomfort should decrease every day until you feel completely normal again.

Loose Brackets

Unfortunately, brackets may sometimes loosen during orthodontic treatment. Thankfully, this is easily fixed. Just give your children and adult orthodontist in Littleton and Highlands Ranch a call and our team can schedule an appointment to reattach the bracket securely. If the brackets are regularly coming loose, this may be an indication that you need to pay more attention to the foods you’re eating or the activities that you’re participating in (for example, not wearing a mouthguard during certain sports).

Contact Your Children and Adult Orthodontist in Littleton and Highlands Ranch!

If you have any further questions about maintaining your braces or you’d like to learn about our Littleton and Highlands Ranch Invisalign treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with us, we encourage you to fill out our online appointment request form. We can’t wait to hear from you and set you on the best path toward a straight and healthy smile!