Regardless of if you’re an adult or a kid, getting braces can be a scary experience. Living with braces requires adapting your lifestyle. You need to change how you clean your teeth and even what foods you can eat. As a kid, these adjustments can be challenging to come to terms with. Even so, the Wall Street Journal mentions that more and more people who seek orthodontic care do so as adults. To adapt to living with braces, you’re going to need to know what life changes need to take place. Any orthodontist in Palm Beach Gardens could tell you the basics of what to expect. However, the only way to honestly know what things will change is by living the experience. Luckily, having someone who’s been through the struggle tell you what’s coming can be a great help. So, what do you really need to know about living with braces?
Why Do I Need Braces Anyway?
Stanford University Press states that human ancestors probably had better teeth than we do today. What’s more, is that they never needed braces. If cave dwellers didn’t need braces, why do we? Well, to begin with, ancient humans never really cared about straight teeth. They never lived long enough for it to be a factor in whether they got noticed. In addition to this, medieval humans had more enormous jaws than we do now. The shrinking of the size of jaws is a natural consequence of how we became modern humans. Because our jaws are smaller, our teeth become crowded together, so we need braces to straighten them out.
How do Braces Work?
An orthodontist in Palm Beach Gardens usually has signs stuck on the office walls telling you how braces work. Healthline explains to us that braces exert constant pressure on teeth for an extended amount of time to straighten them. Your teeth spend a lot of time growing and adjusting to your jaw. The only way we can hope to rectify them is to use constant pressure to ensure that they go where we want them to. Initially, the teeth have a series of brackets attached to them. Through the brackets run wires which the orthodontist tightens. He or she then connects elastics to the device to ensure the pressure is maintained. Newer braces don’t have elastics, and the latest tech in braces doesn’t even have wires.
How Long Will These Things be In My Mouth?
It’s a strange feeling to have braces in your mouth, for sure. The only way to know how long that weird mechanism in your mouth is going to be there is to consult an orthodontist in Jensen Beach, FL. Everyone has a unique mouth. Because of this, you can’t compare one patient’s problems to any other patient’s. WebMD informs us that the amount of time you are going to be wearing braces for depends on the severity of your problem. They do go on to say that the average time for braces is about one to three years. However, even after you remove your braces, you’re going to need to wear a retainer for the first six months. After that, you’ll be using the retainer when you sleep for at least a year.
Are Braces Painful?
One of the most common complaints that an orthodontist in Jensen Beach, FL hears is that braces look so painful to wear. They really aren’t painful, but they can be pretty uncomfortable at the start. When you first put them on, there will be a bit of pain after your mouth adjusts to the device. Each time it’s tightened, the pain may return for a few hours. You can manage this pain with any over-the-counter painkiller. If you experience a lot of pain after adjusting, then you should speak to your orthodontist about it. He or she may need to change the amount of adjustment that they make.
What Foods Can I Eat While Wearing Braces?
One of the most significant changes to your lifestyle will be changing the things you eat while wearing braces. Generally, you may need to change the food you eat regularly to take into account your braces. The Australian Society of Orthodontics suggests that if you just had an adjustment, these foods are the ones you should be looking at eating for the first four to five days :
- Cottage Cheese
- Ice Cream
- Mashed Potatoes
Additionally, they go on to note a handful of foods that you should avoid at all costs when you have braces such as:
- Some raw vegetables (carrots, for example)
- Gum or Caramel
- Hard candy
While you can drink anything you want, any orthodontist in Palm Beach Gardens will tell you to avoid excessive sugary drinks.
Taking Care of your Braces
Having braces in your mouth means changing the way you approach brushing and flossing. Plaque, that nefarious cause of cavities, can lurk around the edge of braces and in between it and the teeth. Brushing after each meal with a soft toothbrush is an excellent start to keeping your teeth free from plaque. You will find that you need to replace your toothbrush a lot faster than usual. When using it around the braces, the toothbrush will get frayed, so this is normal.
Flossing also forms part of oral care. With braces, however, flossing is a much more complicated task. You’re going to have to floss between your teeth as usual. However, there’s going to be an added step where you slide the floss between the wire and the teeth. You should also be careful when doing this since too much pressure could lead to damage to the braces themselves. Even when removing the floss, you should take care to gently pull it out to avoid damaging either teeth or braces.
Can I Play Sports With Braces?
Braces don’t affect how well you can play sports. Most orthodontists will tell you that you can go ahead and play whatever game you like. However, contact sports may need some added protection. Because of the risk of spills that could damage the braces and teeth, you might need to wear special mouthguards. The mouthguard is made of hard, durable plastic and fits comfortably over the braces in your mouth. They are designed to protect both teeth and braces from the impact that might damage either.
Working Towards a Perfect Smile
You might not think your braces are doing anything. Many new users say that the only thing they feel when they get braces is the pain from the adjustment. But the pain is a clue that the braces are working. When you realign teeth into a perfect smile, you will have to deal with a little pain. But a low pain is worth having a brilliant smile that everyone is going to notice and love. If you’re considering an orthodontist in Palm Beach Gardens, Orthodontics by Bradford is always ready to help you get that smile you’ve always wanted. Check us out to book an appointment today. Let’s give you a smile that you know you’ve always had.