6 Ways to Make Your Orthodontic Journey Easier

Adapting to life with braces can be easy for some patients, while others find it more challenging. There are tricks to getting used to wearing this kind of dental appliance without risking damage. Even if you've had braces before, adjustments might cause more discomfort than usual. Here are some tips to make the most of your braces or dental aligners while waiting for your new smile:

  1. Be Patient
    Once you've gotten braces, they're likely to stay on for 24 to 36 months. Some patients may need even longer to address complex alignment issues. With aligners, you'll have a year or more of treatment. Cultivating a mindset of patience before you get the braces on will make it easier to endure the entire treatment period. Remember, there's no option to take a break from braces, and even dental aligners need to be worn daily for 20 or more hours. Commitment is key to powering through the treatment.
  2. Invest in Dental Tools Designed for Braces
    Keeping your braces clean is crucial, not just to prevent tooth decay but also to keep your breath fresh and avoid embarrassment. Toothpicks and floss can be challenging to use with brackets and wires on your teeth. Invest in dentist-recommended dental picks and flossing tools specifically designed for braces. Floss tends to shred if caught on the brackets, so choosing a durable ribbon or a flexible pick flosser can save you a trip to the orthodontist.
  3. Carry Dental Wax
    A wire might shift slightly and start rubbing against your cheek or lip, or you might wake up with a sore spot from a bracket. Dental wax is the solution for any irritation. Simply mold the wax where it's needed and let the problem resolve itself. If swelling does not recede, your orthodontist in Woodland, TX can make adjustments during your next visit.
  4. Bring Lip Balm to Adjustments
    You'll have to endure quite a few lengthy adjustments with traditional braces. Your orthodontist will need to keep your mouth open while working, limiting your ability to moisten your lips. Wearing an unscented lip balm is the best way to prevent chapping during these sessions. Don't forget to take some over-the-counter pain relievers if you experience soreness after an adjustment.
  5. Stick to the Right Diet
    Braces are an investment, costing anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. Avoid damaging them by steering clear of crunchy, sticky, chewy, and tough foods. While you might crave soft foods like soup and smoothies right after an adjustment, be cautious with foods that could catch on the brackets or require excessive force to chew. Your orthodontist can provide a complete list of foods to avoid and suggest personalized recommendations.
  6. Brush, Brush, Brush
    It's always advisable to brush your teeth three times a day, but it becomes essential when wearing braces. Braces make it harder for saliva to wash away food particles, so brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash are vital to prevent tooth decay. Keeping up with oral hygiene is crucial if you want your braces off as quickly as possible.

For more tips or any questions about getting braces, contact your local orthodontist. If you're in the Woodland, TX area and dreaming of a straighter smile, schedule an appointment with Aesthetic Smiles Dentistry. We strive to provide a spa-like experience, making your visits as soothing as possible.