Here at Scioto Orthodontics, we are dedicated to setting you up for success! We have sought out special tools, like our unique toothbrush, which we believe will give you all the advantages possible when it comes to maintaining excellent hygiene and comfort. In addition, we are always available to answer your questions and concerns. Our goal is to educate you and help guide you through the world of braces!
Eating with Braces
Contrary to popular belief, there are very few foods that are actually off-limits when you are wearing braces. Rather than eliminating your favorite foods, we usually suggest that you make an effort to change the way you eat them. For example, instead of biting right into a whole apple, it's best to cut it into slices or pieces and do most of the chewing on your back teeth.
Foods that are very hard, sticky, or chewy (half-popped popcorn kernels, taffy, stale pizza crust), can easily break braces off the teeth, so we suggest being mindful about your eating. We always remind our patients that your braces are designed to come off some day, and biting hard into a food can accidentally get the job done early. Chew gently, take your time, and avoid foods that require you to bite very hard.
Brushing and Flossing
Dr. Bethany and Dr. Liz recommend a thorough brushing in the morning and at night, flossing at least once per day, and at least a quick brush or rinse after meals. When brushing with braces, it's important to remember to angle your toothbrush on all sides of your braces: above, below, and to the sides.
Flossing is a little more adventurous with braces on as well! We provide floss threaders to help you slide your floss under the wire so that you can still floss all the way down to the gums. There are many products available on the market like floss threaders, picks, and water flossers to help patients wearing braces with their flossing, and we're happy to help you navigate them!
When you get your braces on, you will get a hygiene kit that contains a set of tools to help you keep your braces clean. We will educate you on how to use your kit and help you practice brushing around your braces and wires.
At Scioto Orthodontics, we provide a unique toothbrush that looks quite different from your regular brush. It is specially designed to help kids and younger patients in particular to get the bristles of their brush under and around their wires. These are the most commonly missed areas, and effective brushing can help prevent white spots and stains from developing. If you are interested, we are also happy to educate you on the use of electric toothbrushes and can provide them to you and your family at a discount.
Dealing with Discomfort
It's normal to experience a little bit of discomfort after starting your braces or having adjustments. We recommend using an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce the soreness during the first couple of days. If the braces are irritating to your lips or cheeks after they are first placed, a tiny ball of wax (which we're happy to provide) can help to make the braces feel smooth and relieve discomfort. Usually after the braces have been on for a few weeks, the wax is no longer needed because the lips and cheeks have gotten used to their new environment.
If something should break while you're wearing braces, it is a good idea to call our Hilliard office so that we can help you determine whether we should schedule an extra visit to repair the broken piece or if it can wait until your next regularly scheduled visit.
Your Orthodontic Treatment Success
A successful and timely outcome depends on four primary factors.
- It is important to show up to your regularly scheduled visits so that Dr. Bethany and Dr. Liz can evaluate your progress and make recommendations.
- Following the hygiene (brushing and flossing) instructions precisely will ensure that you finish treatment with healthy beautiful teeth!
- Eating carefully with braces on and taking other precautions to avoid breaking your braces or wires will ensure that the appliances are able to work effectively and get the job done as quickly as possible.
Finally, following instructions to wear rubber bands (elastics) precisely as the doctors recommend will be essential to achieving the best result in the shortest amount of time!