One of the most important concerns associated with orthodontic treatment and oral health is “braces maintenance”. When preparing braces in a professional dental lab, dental technicians aim at making sure that the patient experiences least discomfort while wearing this dental appliance. But, there are other important factors as well that help in maintaining problem-free braces. Here are some guidelines on eating habits for braces wearers along with some useful tips on how to deal with potential problems, arising from the use of braces.
Braces and Foods
Dentists typically recommend braces-wearers to avoid eating foods that are hard, chewy, sticky or crunchy. Although it can be really challenging to avoid some favorite foods, making short-term sacrifices is essential for long-term results. If braces-wearers don’t change their eating habits accordingly, they may face problems like broken braces or wires, which can be extremely painful.
It is best to avoid eating foods like caramel candies, chunky peanut butter, nuts and gummy bears while wearing braces. In fact, common snacks like popcorn and gum can also affect oral health. Braces-wearers should also be more careful when munching on chewy foods like bagels or crispy chips. Fruits and vegetables should be cut into small pieces before eating and the cob should be cut off before eating corn on the cob. The intake of soda and sugary beverages should be kept at minimum to avoid decay. Lastly, it is important to change tooth-damaging habits like chewing on ice, pencils and fingernails.
Common Braces-Related Problems
Bracket or Wire Damage
Braces that are broken or have loose bands can cause discomfort and other problems. This form of braces-related damage will rarely need emergency action. However, it is extremely important to consult the orthodontist for fixing the issue. Sometimes, if a more serious mouth or facial injury occurs, emergency action will be needed.
Problem of Loose Bracket
A small piece of orthodontic wax should be applied for temporary reattachment of loose brackets or placement of wax over the bracket to offer a cushioning between the bracket and the gums. In most cases, the orthodontist provides the patient with orthodontic wax when he/she gets braces for the first time.
The Problem of Loose Bands
When the problem of loose bands arises, the bands need to be replaced as soon as possible. The bands should be kept safe unless the dentist repairs them.
If the wire breaks, the first step should be using a pencil with an eraser end for moving the wire to a less troublesome site. If the wire can’t be moved out of the way, certain amount of orthodontic wax should be applied over the end that is protruding.
It is never a wise idea to cut the wire without dental supervision because it can be accidentally swallowed or inhaled into the lungs. If mouth sores develop because of the broken wire, the mouth should be rinsed with warm salt water.