For many individuals, braces are the way to go in order to achieve beautiful, straight, and sparkling teeth. There are even many options when it comes to braces, from traditional ones to clear ones, to fit the needs of every individual. Caring for your braces is absolutely necessary while under orthodontic treatment, which includes brushing thoroughly and flossing every day. In addition, there are many habits that should be avoided completely while you have braces in order to protect your teeth and the braces themselves. Failure to care for your teeth while wearing braces may result in cavities, gum disease, etc. In this article, we will discuss five habits you should nix while wearing braces.
Nix Sticky Foods
Perhaps the very most important habit to avoid when you have braces is eating sticky foods. These can wreak havoc in many ways, from sticking all throughout your braces to actually bending wires or even breaking off a bracket. This will definitely warrant an extra trip to the orthodontist for some damage control. In addition, sugars and bits of food can get trapped in the brackets and increase your chance of cavities. Items in the “sticky” category that you should definitely avoid include gum, taffy, caramel, and many other such items.
Nix Hard Foods and Objects
If you have a habit of opening things with your teeth or biting your nails, it is best to stop if you have braces. Actually, even if you don’t have braces, these are damaging habits for your teeth. Chewing on pencils and pens is another habit to avoid. Hard foods such as raw carrots, hard candy, and peanut brittle should be avoided while you have braces. Biting hard objects and foods can break or bend parts of your braces.
Careful with Darkly Colored Beverages
Darkly colored drinks, such as red wine, coffee, cola, and black tea tend to stain the teeth significantly, especially around the brackets. If you have braces with traditional rubber ligatures, these beverages can also stain the ligatures. If you must consume these beverages, it is best to rinse with water or mouthwash immediately afterwards.
Go Light on Soda and Juice
Sodas and fruit juices have acidic properties and lots of sugar, both of which are known to be harmful to the teeth. This is cause for extra concern for those wearing braces because the braces make it more difficult to clean the teeth thoroughly, making the patient more prone to cavities. Again, if you must consume these beverages, it is best to rinse with water or mouthwash immediately afterwards.
Smoking, like red wine, can discolor the teeth tremendously, especially in people who have braces. It stains the teeth a yellowish-brown color that can be difficult to get rid of. Smoking can also result in a gum disease called gingivitis. These things are compounded in people who have braces simply because the damaging particles can get trapped more easily and sit on the teeth for long enough to do some serious discoloring.
If you absolutely can’t live with out the sticky candy and popcorn, you may want to check out Invisalign as an option to getting your perfect smile.
Also check out which cartoon characters sported braces. You may never have even noticed!