Some folks might consider time in braces to be a sort of prison sentence. People do their time, go through the motions, then ditch their braces like a thief in the night once the braces are ready to come off. But what if we told you that having braces builds a strong foundation for oral health? Your oral health (not coincidentally) is inextricably linked to your overall health, more and more studies continuously support this. Here are some ways that you can maximize your time in braces, ensuring effective treatment during that process, which creates a springboard to future oral health. Mid Wilshire Dentistry would like our patients to consider the following measures which will prevent unfortunate occurrences and even real-life horror stories: Don’t Underestimate Flossing And don’t underperform while flossing. Imagine that a great brushing job is your first of two free throws. Don’t crash your second off the front of the rim by slacking on your follow-up. Back up your brushing with great flossing practices. Flossing is especially vital when it comes to your braces. Floss around your braces to prevent periodontal disease and other unforeseen oral health problems. At your next check-up, ask us for some inside flossing tips and we’ll be happy to assist you. Strap on That Headgear and Wear Those Rubber Bands! Rubber bands and headgear are stereotyped and poked fun at the most when it comes to braces. Orthodontic appliances may seem annoying, but they are vital to the success of your braces campaign. Failing to wear your rubber bands and headgear will also keep you in braces longer, compromising the efficacy of the entire process. Say “No” to Sticky and Hard Foods Just don’t do them. Period. It’s not as hard as it seems to avoid toffee, caramel, and chewing gum, and there are usually substitutes which are less of a burden to your hardware. By steering clear of those sticky and stern foods, you avoid bracket and wire stress that could potentially result in breakage. Foods to Avoid:
• Bagels & Hard Rolls
• Caramels / Gum / Licorice / Other CandiesCorn on the Cob / Apples / Carrots
Stop Chewing on Your Pens, Pencils, and Fingernails This is a common way that patients damage their braces. Pens, pencils, and fingernails are harder than most foods, so make sure that you cut out this bad habit. It’s better for all parties if you stop chewing on these anyway. Don’t Chew with Those Front Teeth Anymore It’s better to chew with your back teeth — that’s what they’re meant for anyway. For patients used to taking first bites of foods with their fronts, it’s time to switch up your technique, for the good of your braces and even beyond. Cut the foods you can into pieces. Then use those molars to masticate your food. Keep Your Scheduled Visits with Mid Wilshire Dentistry It’s important to keep our regular appointments once you’ve had your braces installed. We monitor your progress. We’ll tell you when you’re doing great, and we’ll give you pointers to make sure everything goes the best way possible. The end product: your new beautiful smile. The difference between braces and veneers is that braces take much more commitment and effort. We hope that at the end of the process it makes it that much rewarding for our patients who go through the process. Contact Mid Wilshire Dentistry today if you have questions about our orthodontics program. We’ll schedule your initial consultation and discuss your options. We’ll show you a clear path to the smile you’ve always wanted.