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Life with braces
The ultimate outcome of orthodontic treatment is beautifully straight teeth, a fantastic new smile and the confidence to show both of these off! But the last thing we want here at SOP is for you to feel self-conscious or uncomfortable during your treatment journey.
Orthodontic treatment is designed to fit into your lifestyle. There are very few changes you’ll need to make to incorporate orthodontic treatment into your schedule but there are some things you need to be aware of, such as foods that could damage or break your braces and the best ways to clean your teeth so you keep them in optimal health.
Here are our team’s top tips for living with braces.
Eating with braces
Let’s get one thing straight – you’re not going to starve just because you’re having orthodontic treatment. There are so many yummy foods you can eat even while having treatment and most you’ll be eating anyway.
When your teeth are slightly tender, we recommend eating softer foods, such as:
- Scrambled eggs, omelettes
- Porridge, oats, pancakes
- Macaroni cheese, champ, mashed potato and gravy, chicken and leek pie
- Yummy stews – as long as any meat isn’t too chewy
- Soft fruit, such as melons, pears, plums
However, there are some foods that can cause damage to your appliances, so it is best to avoid these for the sake of your treatment and your teeth:
- Hard, chewy and sticky sweets and toffees
- Chewing gum
- Hard pizza crusts
- Corn on the cob – cut off the kernels instead
- Carrots and apples – instead of biting into them, grate them or chop them up into very small pieces.
Brushing with braces
As dental professionals we want to see all our patients undertaking a regular oral hygiene routine and this is particularly important when having orthodontic treatment. The last thing we want is to have food getting caught in braces, plaque building up and cavities forming.
When you are fitted with your appliance, whether it be braces or clear aligners, we’ll advise you on how best to brush and floss your teeth, but here are some initial top tips for cleaning your teeth during orthodontic treatment:
- Use a soft toothbrush: these are still very effective at getting rid of those problem food pieces and plaque build up but they’re friendly on your teeth, especially when they’re a little tender and sensitive.
- Floss after brushing: It’s not enough just to brush your teeth. An effective oral hygiene routine should also include brushing. You can do this with either dental floss or interdental brushes.
- Rinse with mouthwash: For a complete teeth clean, finish off with a rinse of fluoride mouthwash.
- Use disclosing tablets: During your orthodontic treatment, we want to make sure plaque doesn’t build up but we also appreciate it can be difficult to brush all surfaces of your teeth when you have brackets fitted to them. Disclosing tablets are chewable tablets that stain any plaque on your teeth a different colour. Once you see where the coloured bits are, you can give those areas an extra brush to remove the plaque buildup.
- See your dentist for check-ups: Just because you’re having orthodontic treatment and coming into the clinic for regular check-ups with us, doesn’t mean you should stop seeing your regular dentist. Make sure you schedule your 6-monthly appointments with your family dentist.
Sports and braces
Many of our patients here at the Specialist Orthodontic Practice (SOP) worry about whether they can play sports whilst in orthodontic treatment. Dr. Geoghegan recommends to always wear a protective mouthguard when participating in physical sports. He especially encourages this if you have braces that can potentially cut your mouth or cause damage to your teeth. There are several options when you’re looking for a protective mouthguard.
Boil-and-bites are a version of mouthguard that can be used for more physical sports. This type is used just the way its name implies: you warm the mouthguard in water to soften the material, then bite down gently once it’s at the correct temperature to form it into the shape of your teeth and mouth. These are fine to use temporarily, but they don’t always provide the best protection as they rarely fit properly.
Another option is to have Dr. Geoghegan make a custom mouthguard for you. The mouthguard will be designed with built-in layers to protect both your teeth and braces when it’s worn. Having Dr. Geoghegan create a custom-fitted mouthguard will ensure optimal protection and a comfortable fit whenever you participate in physical activities.
Protecting your teeth and braces is essential when you compete in sports. Accidents happen, and having a mouthguard can potentially save you from pain and damaged braces. Our team at SOP is happy to assist you in creating a custom-made mouthguard for any sports activities you want to participate in. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to your oral health and treatment success!"