Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for children and adults. For some people, problems arise when their teeth are not properly aligned. When this happens, it may become necessary to visit an orthodontist and be fitted with braces. As anyone who has ever worn braces can attest, brushing becomes more difficult and more important to keep food particles from building up between the wires and teeth. When parents get braces for kids, one of their first questions is: Can their child over brush while wearing braces?
Food is essential. Most of us pretended our chewing gum was braces more than once throughout our childhood, but we didn’t have to live with them. It’s safe to say we all went through a phase where we thought wearing braces was cool, especially when our friends were showing off their cool new colorful bands. Orange and black during the Halloween season, and they boasted red and green when it was Christmas. We looked at our straight teeth in the mirror and tried to convince our parents they were crooked and we needed thousands upon thousands of dollars in metal in our mouths.
What were we thinking? There’s nothing particularly enjoyable about needing our smiles corrected, but many people go through life with crooked teeth easily fixable with the help of some orthodontic correction. Growing up, wearing colorful bands was a fun idea. Our friends who did require a mouth full of metal didn’t think it was so much fun when they realized just how limited they really were as it pertained to eating and basic oral hygiene. Braces might seem like a lot of fun to those who don’t wear them, but there’s some serious limitation involved. The biggest challenge comes when you can no longer eat your favorite things. Your orthodontist recommends avoiding a number of specific food items with orthodontics in your mouth.
Food to Avoid
Your orthodontic appliances are nothing more than metal and wire holding your teeth together to help straighten them and keep them in line. They’re not nearly as strong as you might imagine, which leaves them highly susceptible to damage from certain food items.
- Sticky candy
- Hard chocolate
- Hard taco shells
- Hard cookies
- Hard candy
These are items your orthodontist wants you to stay away from at all costs. Each one is designed to taste amazing, but they’re not good for your mouth’s new hardware. Hard, sticky items such as these do a number on your orthodontics, which causes more problems for your mouth. These are foods most susceptible to becoming stuck in your metal or wires, and sometimes that’s more painful than anything else.
Its only for a while
It’s not easy to say goodbye to these items when your mouth is full of hardware, but you shouldn’t eat any of the items on this list. Try to remind yourself it’s not forever. You aren’t being asked to give up your favorite movie theater popcorn for the rest of our life. You’re only giving it up until your smile is picture perfect and your hardware is removed for good.
Your kids might not appreciate all the changes they’re making now that they have a mouth filled with hardware, but you will. Not only do they need to be extra careful with their food, they have to get rid of some nasty habits. Do your kids bite their nails or chew on their pens when they’re sitting in class? If they do, they have to stop now. These are both dangerous to the hardware in their mouth. It can cause the wires to snap, the metal to bend, and another trip to the orthodontist to become necessary.
Food to Be Careful With
As if avoiding things like hard Taco Tuesday when your mouth is full of metal isn’t depressing enough, that’s not all you have to be careful with. Your orthodontist is going to provide you a list of things you should be very careful eating when you have your new hardware applied to your teeth. These are foods you can eat, but you need to cut up, break apart, and be very careful with during your meals.
- Corn on the cob
- Thin pizza crust
- Raw veggies
If you love these items, you’ll feel good knowing you can still eat them. Just be careful with them as you eat. Try cutting them into small pieces, breaking your bread apart, and pulling your corn off the cob. These items tend to get stuck in your mouth, which can cause some damage to the hardware in there. You’re not going to have a difficult time eating them if you’re just a bit more careful about what you put into your mouth.
The good news is you can still eat most anything you loved before, but you have to be careful. You might not be able to have hard taco shells on Taco Tuesday, but you can have soft ones for a while. When your hardware is removed, you can go back to eating anything you want without worrying about your expensive hardware breaking. If you’re a child reading this, it does get better.
Good Hygiene Habits
Right now the excitement of having a mouth filled with metal is wearing off for the kids, and you’re dealing with unhappy little people who just want hard candy and popcorn. They’re unhappy about all the life changes they’ve had to make since their visit to the ortho, and you’re left dealing with the aftermath. It’s going to become slightly more difficult when you have to inform your kids they need to be extra careful with their teeth cleaning and care with all that equipment in there.
One of the first things you’ll do when your kids come home from the ortho with their new mouth accessory is replace their toothbrush. They need one with very soft bristles, as they are much less likely to damage the wires and metal. Your kids also need to begin flossing right away. If they weren’t great about it before, now is the time for them to get used to it on a regular basis. The ortho wants your kids to start brushing and flossing every time they eat. Food tends to get stuck in the wires and metal in their mouth. It can cause far more issues than not if it remains there.
It’s a good idea to provide your kids with a secondary soft toothbrush and some floss to carry with them to school. You might provide their teachers with a note stating they need a moment after lunch to run into the restroom and brush to keep their mouth healthy.
In addition to practicing extra precaution with their new accessory, your kids need to consider additional mouth protection when playing sports. Your kids can still pay sports. There’s no reason they need to quit just because of their new accessory, but they must practice extra care to prevent damage or injury. A custom mouth guard is the best idea on the top and bottom of the mouth. It’s important not only to keep hardware from becoming damaged but to keep your child’s mouth from becoming injured. It’s not uncommon for a child to tear his or her lips or another child’s skin a contact sport with their metal, and we know you want to practice extra precaution to prevent this from occurring.
It might seem that life is ending with all these rules and worries, but the reward is worth it in the end. Your child’s smile will light up a room when it’s perfect. The added confidence they receive from their new smile will change their life. It’s a bit of sacrifice for a time, but it’s not the end of the world. The kids will become used to things, and they will appreciate this sacrifice later in life. If anything ever happens to the hardware in their mouth, call the orthodontist right away. Make sure to schedule an appointment to repair it as quickly as possible with http://www.beachbraces.org/. Dr. Panucci is there for you when you need additional care for your mouth, if you have questions, or if you have concerns about your new hardware.
Beach Braces Orthodontics
220 N. Aviation Blvd
Phone: (310) 379-0006
2 Food Checklists to Avoid Brace Problems 2016