If you have recently met with an orthodontist who has informed you that you need braces, then you may have already learned about the approximate wear time when the braces are cemented on to your teeth. While this wear period is a guess as to how long you have to wear your braces, you can try your best to keep them on as close to this timeframe as possible. There are a few tips that can help you to meet your goals.
Comply with Food Guidelines
You have probably already been informed of the foods that you will no longer be able to eat once your braces are secured. These foods include hard ones like peanut brittle and ice and also chewy ones like bubblegum and gummy bears. You also need to stay away from tough foods like carrot sticks and celery stalks.
All the foods mentioned are ones that can easily pull off a molar band, dislodge a bracket, or rip off a ligature wire. And, these sorts of problems will all mean a trip to the orthodontist's office and some extra work with your braces. This can prolong your wear period by a few weeks or even a month every time it happens.
In addition to destroying your hardware, chewing on hard foods and nonfood items can create counterpressure that forces a tooth in the opposite direction. The intended movement may not be as quick and you may need more pressure or an extended movement period for the tooth or teeth. So, make sure you are allowing your braces to do what they are supposed to do by keeping strong pressure away from your teeth.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
It may seem odd to think that a clean mouth can help with dental alignments, but this is the case. Bacteria, tartar, and food particles can allow for rampant bacterial activity in the mouth. The bacteria can cause decay, which can prolong orthodontics due to the need for treatments. Also, the microorganisms can lead to a great deal of inflammation. When tissues become inflamed they cannot heal properly. This stops the healing process and can interfere with the way the gums respond to the movement of the teeth. It also can keep the remodeling process from moving forward, and this means that your jawbone will not form tissues as it should.
To keep your mouth clean, use flossers, toothbrushes, and toothpastes that are specifically made for people with braces. And, make sure that you are brushing your teeth whenever you eat a meal or a snack.
Call a professional orthodontist, like David W Hyten DMD, for more advice about how to care for braces.