Life With 3M™ Braces
No matter how long your treatment lasts, the time you spend wearing braces is relatively short compared to the brilliantly straight pearly whites you'll get to wear the rest of your life. Here's some important information about life with braces.
Life with braces does not have to be much different than life before braces. With proper care and maintenance, your activities can continue while you build your terrific smile. You'll be pleased to learn that orthodontic treatment will fit in with your current lifestyle – you can sing, play a musical instrument, dine out, kiss, and even have your picture taken. Be sure to ask your orthodontist if you have questions about specific activities.
Depending on the sport, it is probably a good idea to wear some sort of lip protector or mouth guard so the braces don't cut the insides of your mouth. Ask your orthodontist for recommendations.
Playing an instrument
Yes, you can play your wind instrument. You may not need one, but several companies make mouth guards and lip protectors specifically for this purpose. Ask your orthodontist for recommendations. Some orthodontists can make a custom lip guard for you.
Information provided by ArchWired.com
What can I eat?
Choose foods that are softer. Avoid foods that are hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy. Cut or tear sandwiches and pizza rather than biting into them. Right after you get braces or whenever they are adjusted, you may want foods that require little or no chewing such as soup and macaroni and cheese. Several braces-friendly recipes can be found on the American Association of Orthodontists' Web site.
Care and Maintenance
A guide from the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO)
It's important to take especially good care of your teeth during orthodontic treatment. By brushing and flossing regularly, you'll keep your teeth and gums in top condition and ensure that your orthodontic treatment will deliver the healthiest smile possible.
When to clean
Brush thoroughly after each time you have a meal or snack. If you can't brush right away after a meal, be sure to at least rinse your mouth well with water until you can brush. Carry a travel toothbrush so that you can brush when away from home.
At least once every day, brush your teeth and braces thoroughly until they are spotlessly clean, and then floss. This takes a little extra time, so you may want to do it at night before going to bed.
How to brush
A good way to tell if you're brushing correctly is if your braces look clean and shiny, and you can see the edges of the braces clearly.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush that's in good condition. Because braces wear out a toothbrush quickly, replace your brush as soon as it shows signs of wear.
- Brush around all the parts of your braces and every surface of your teeth—fronts, sides and backs. Be sure to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
- Brush your gums gently and thoroughly.
- Rinse thoroughly after brushing.
How to floss
Flossing with braces on may seem like a difficult process, but it's very important. And, as with anything, a little practice will make it go a lot faster.
- Floss every night before you go to bed.
- When flossing with braces on, it might be necessary to use what's called a floss threader. This reusable tool allows you to get dental floss underneath your archwire easily.
- Make sure you clean carefully along and under the gumlines