There are plenty of ways you can avoid an orthodontic emergency, and that is why it is important to know the correct ways to care about your braces for as long as you wear them. But the fact is that no matter how much care you take, accidents do happen. From loose wire to discomfort or even the bands popping, you need the assistance of an orthodontist in St. Louis when you are in pain. Here are some tips for caring for your braces.
First, avoid sticky food. When you use braces or other orthodontic appliances, you must avoid foods that can damage the braces. These include sticky, chewy, and hard food items. Most people wear the retainers and/or braces for at least 24 months, and you should avoid it during this time. The reason is that hard foods require more jaw power to crush, which breaks the brackets of the retainers or braces. At the same time, constant chewing of sticky foods can bend the wires, which leads to an orthodontic emergency. If the wire is poking or pressing against the gums/cheek or lips, put cotton over it before you visit us, your orthodontist in Fort Collins, CO.
Be sure to brush and floss your teeth. Removing food debris and plaque from your teeth is incredibly important and sometimes challenging with braces. There are more places for food to get stuck, and it can be hard to reach all the spots you need to clean. Plaque can build up around the brackets of your braces, leading to decay or gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Luckily, proper care will help you avoid these issues.
Protect your braces! We recommend wearing a mouthguard when you play sports or engage in activities with a risk of damage to your face or mouth. This step is uniquely important for those with braces as a hit to the face could harm your brackets, gums, or teeth. Those without braces typically wear mouthguards for the top row of teeth. However, we may recommend wearing a mouthguard on both rows of teeth to protect your mouth and braces. Be sure to talk to us about getting a properly fitted mouthguard.
Even with your best efforts and intention, things can go wrong with your braces. If you’ve incurred damage to your teeth or braces, it’s vital to see us, your orthodontist in Fort Collins, CO, as soon as possible. Be careful not to swallow any broken items or try to fix anything yourself. Schedule an appointment today!