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Life with Braces

So, you just got braces — welcome to the first day of an exciting chapter in your life! New braces can take some getting used to, but our team is here to ensure your journey to a straighter smile goes as smoothly as possible.

Today’s orthodontic care is far more sophisticated and patient-centered than previous generations experienced. We have more advanced techniques and a deep commitment to the importance of personalized care.

Call Us Now To Learn More: (518) 785-9441

Follow the tips below, and living with braces might even be easier than you or your child imagined.

Embrace Your Braces

Step one is simply getting used to your new smile. Braces used to be seen as an “uncool” accessory, but the stigma has faded for children and adults alike. Remember that millions of people have braces at some point in their lives — they are a remarkable invention and we’re lucky to have such an effective way to enhance our smiles! Don’t be afraid to show them off with confidence.

Eat Mindfully

Eating with braces may require adjustments to your usual diet. Braces have a variety of delicate parts that can be damaged by hard and sticky foods. Additionally, some foods can become trapped within your braces, causing the brackets to loosen or damage the archwire.

Some of the foods we recommend you AVOID while you have braces include:

  • Popcorn
  • Crackers and chips
  • Nuts and hard candy
  • Caramel candy and licorice
  • Whole apples and carrots (please cut into pieces before eating)
  • Corn on the cob (please cut kernels off the cob)
  • Chewing gum

While it may be disappointing to forego some of your favorite treats, the good news is that most foods are unlikely to damage your new braces. Examples of things you CAN eat include:

  • Cheese and other dairy
  • Soft bread and pastry
  • Cooked grains
  • Cooked meat and seafood
  • Cooked vegetables and sliced fruits
  • Pudding, ice cream and smoothies

We also recommend being careful of any bad chewing habits you might have. If you tend to nibble on your fingernails or the ends of your pens, for example, it’s best to stop while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Chewing on hard items can damage your braces.

Know How to Address Common Braces Problems

Braces, like any medical treatment, can lead to occasional issues. Some are temporary and manageable at home, while others require prompt professional treatment.

Discomfort

In the first week of getting braces, your mouth may feel tender and sore, and you might find eating more challenging than usual. While uncomfortable, this is a perfectly normal stage with new braces. It can take some time for your mouth to get used to your new braces. Eating a soft food diet and doing salt water rinses can help you get through the first week.

Sores

Some people develop canker sores or ulcers from their brackets irritating the inside of their lips or cheeks. Despite being uncomfortable, they are usually harmless and resolve on their own in a week or two. Applying orthodontic wax over the bracket can provide relief until your mouth adjusts to the braces. If you experience severe pain with noticeable swelling, bleeding or tenderness, please contact our office immediately.

Loose Components

Your brackets and wires can become dislodged for various reasons during your treatment. If a bracket or band comes loose or a wire is poking the back of your mouth, we recommend contacting us as soon as possible for a repair. Applying orthodontic wax over the irritating part can help keep it in place and shield your mouth until your appointment. If a poking wire is causing significant discomfort, you can use the back of a spoon or the eraser of a pencil to gently push it back into place.

Practice a Good Oral Hygiene Routine

Oral hygiene is essential whether you have braces or not, but while undergoing orthodontic treatment, you may need to make a few changes to your routine. The following steps will keep your mouth clean and fresh and prevent food from getting trapped in your braces.

  • Rinse your mouth with water before brushing to loosen trapped food particles
  • Brush after every meal with a soft-bristled brush
  • Make sure to brush near the gumline where plaque buildup can happen
  • Floss patiently by guiding dental floss underneath the wire
  • Use a fluoride mouth rinse, such as ACT, as directed

Having braces may require you to spend more time brushing and flossing than usual. Remember that it’s all part of your investment in a beautiful new smile!

Protect Your Mouth While Playing Sports

Having braces doesn’t mean giving up your athletic pursuits. If you play sports, we recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance from injury. Speak to your orthodontist about the best type of mouthguard to wear with braces. If you do sustain an injury while playing sports, check your braces for signs of damage. Contact Lozman Orthodontics right away if you notice any issues.

Our team is here to ensure that your experience or your child’s experience with braces is as comfortable and effortless as possible. Please reach out to us at any time if you have questions or concerns.

17 Johnson Rd
Latham, NY 12110
(518) 785-9441
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