The holidays are filled with a lot of good-old-fashioned comforts: Friends, family, and of course, food. But those holiday comfort foods we know and love can quickly turn into unpleasant experiences if you are sporting braces. Many patients ask us for braces tips for the holidays so they can enjoy their seasonal favorites.
When it comes to braces care and maintenance, there are many simply, easy things you can do to stay comfortable and keep your braces intact and working. Here, then, we present you with an all-inclusive guide, full of braces tips to make your life with braces just a bit easier.
Taking care of your braces is fairly simple, but it requires building up good habits.
Metal or ceramic braces are attached to your teeth so that they can work 24-7. But this makes them difficult to clean, because they cannot be removed. So the most important part of caring for your braces is to brush well and keep you braces clean.
Brushing with braces takes some getting used to. Remember to remove any elastics before brushing, and use a soft toothbrush (these get into the small spaces in your mouth much more easily.) When done, carefully inspect the braces after brushing to check if anything is stuck in them.
Flossing is also a must, as bits of food can easily get stuck behind your wire. It might require a little extra work to get the floss between brackets, but it is well worth it to remove food. A good water pick can help, too.
Finally, a big part of maintaining your braces is knowing which foods to avoid with braces, and how to enjoy the foods you love in a braces-friendly way.
We are always amazed at how many people Google “braces tips eating” for advice on eating with braces. Here are a few suggestions:
Red Light: Food to avoid outright. Some foods should be avoided at all costs, either because they are hard to clean off your braces or because you run the risk of damaging your braces. These include:
Yellow Light: Foods to be careful about. Some foods are not off-limits per se, but you will need to exercise a little caution when eating them:
Green Light: Foods that are braces-friendly. You’ll find your braces easier to clean and less uncomfortable when you stick with soft, non-sticky foods, such as:
Again, eating candy with braces is usually not a good idea, especially if the candy is hard or sticky. We cannot emphasize this enough.
That said, we know that a lot of patients with braces “cheat” because they just can’t resist. Many tastes are associated with memories, and so people like eating certain candies and desserts because it reminds them of happy times. This is especially true around the holidays, and it becomes part of the tradition.
So, if you can’t resist, here are few tips:
Here are a few other braces tips we have gathered and tested over the years:
Our final braces tips have to do with managing pain and discomfort.
The main thing patients complain about with braces is the discomfort that comes with having them first put on, or tightened. While modern braces are better than what was available a decade ago, there can still be some soreness, especially if things need adjustment.
If you find that you are having discomfort and that it is distracting, try the following:
If you feel intense pain or pain that differs from what is described above, it might be a sign that something is going wrong. The best thing to do is to contact your orthodontist immediately to see if there is a problem that needs addressing.
Here at MyOrthodontist, we want our patients to have a positive experience with their braces, from first consultation to that final, perfect smile!
Here are a few other articles and guides we’ve written to help people on their braces journey:
You can also reach out and contact us if you have questions, or would like to set up an appointment at one of our North Carolina locations.
So we know a thing or two when it comes to finding the best in clear teeth aligners for your smile