How Do I Care For My Braces?
Generally speaking, most people don't find it too difficult to properly care for their oral health while wearing braces. They do, however, require you to go slightly above and beyond what you would normally do.
For starters, you must brush and floss not only in between your teeth but in between the brackets as well. Always brush your teeth after eating, too - this part is non-negotiable.
Whenever you floss, be sure to use a mouthwash or rinse for the best possible results. Try to switch to an interdental brush if you haven't already done so and, of course, make sure you visit your orthodontist on a regular basis so that they can confirm that treatment is proceeding exactly as it should be.
What Types of Food Should I Avoid?
Most people don't find the food restrictions they must adhere to while wearing braces too terribly restrictive. There are, however, certain types of foods that you'll definitely want to avoid. These include ones like:
Chewy Food: examples of which include things like bagels, licorice, pizza crust, and French bread.
Crunchy Food: which include things like popcorn, chips, ice, and hard pretzels.
Hard Candies: which include lollipops.
Sticky Food: which include caramel candies, chewing gum and any gummy candies that you may have around the house.
Hard Food: like nuts and hard candies.
Likewise, you're really going to want to be careful around any foods that require biting into - things like corn on the cob and apples would absolutely fall into that category.
How Long Do I Have to Wear Braces?
Unfortunately, it's difficult to give a firm answer to this because everyone is different. This will largely depend on the bite and/or orthodontic issues that you have.
But typically, most people wear braces from anywhere between 12 and 24 months.
How Can I Ease the Pain From Braces?
If you experience any pain from braces, try using either a saltwater rinse, wax for the brackets or over-the-counter painkillers.
What is the Process of Putting on Braces?
After a comprehensive dental exam (that includes x-rays and photographs), Dr. Pearson will carefully examine your health records before discussing any treatment plan with you. Brackets will be applied to your teeth and strung together with a wire for the duration of your treatment.
Likewise, you'll have to go to regular follow-up appointments to make any necessary adjustments - like changing the wire - as treatment progresses.
How Can Braces Interfere With My Lifestyle?
The good news is that braces don't really hinder you from your normal activities. Of course, you must avoid foods like those outlined above - especially if they can get stuck between the brackets. You also must pay extra attention to oral hygiene for the duration of your treatment.
What is the Best Age to Visit the Orthodontist?
In no uncertain terms: as early as possible.
This is especially true in the case of a pre-orthodontic observation. That way, you can quickly identify what types of bite issues your child may have WHILE the jaw is still developing.
Adults should visit the orthodontist regularly too, as teeth can move as you get older and issues can develop at any age that need to be properly cared for.