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Life with Braces – Cleburne, TX

Working Toward a Straighter Smile

If you or your teenager just received braces in Cleburne, congratulations on taking the next step in achieving a straighter, healthier smile. Straighter teeth make it possible to live with a problem-free smile, which is why orthodontic treatment is so important. But if you’re wondering what to expect while wearing your braces, we know you probably have many questions. At Hart Orthodontics, we can make sure your treatment moves along smoothly. We want to help you work toward a straighter smile by answering any questions or addressing any concerns you have along the way. Contact us today and let us help you achieve our dental goals.

How Do I Care for My Braces?

While living with braces, there are some tips you should follow for taking proper care of your braces. Dr. Hart understands that trying to maneuver around metal brackets and wires can be difficult, but here are a few things you can do to make sure your teeth (and braces) remain in good shape:

  • Make sure to brush your teeth for a full two minutes after eating. You’ll need to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use an electric toothpaste will make it easier to reach some of the nooks and crannies that exist in your smile.
  • Make sure your toothbrush is at a 45-degree angle and you’re using circular motions, as this will allow you to reach the full surface of your teeth.
  • Floss at least once a day. If necessary, use a water pik or special dental floss made specifically for patients with braces.
  • Some of the difficult spaces to clear are where the teeth meet the gums. To ensure this small area gets clean, we suggest using an interdental brush.

What Foods Should be Avoided?

Unfortunately, when you are wearing traditional braces, you will find it is much harder to eat certain foods and best if you just avoid them altogether. Not only are they harmful to your teeth, but they can be damaging to your braces. Should damage occur, you can expect your treatment to take longer.

Some of the foods you should avoid include:

  • Hard bread (rolls, bagels)
  • Gum, caramel, or any other sticky foods
  • Small foods such as sunflower seeds or popcorn kernels, as these can easily become lodged between your teeth and braces
  • Cut any fruit or vegetable into smaller pieces (apples, carrots)
  • Any type of hard candy
  • Ice

What Happens After Braces?

Once you are finished with your orthodontic treatment, you’ll be thrilled to be free from all the metal once living in your mouth. But if you’re thinking about going back to old habits, there are some things you should know about life after braces.

First, just because the metal isn’t there doesn’t mean you’re finished with treatment. It will be necessary for you to wear a retainer, as it will prevent your teeth from shifting back into their original position. Regular checkups are also necessary. This gives Dr. Hart and your orthodontic team a chance to examine your smile and look for any problems that may be occurring since having your braces removed.

Second, you will be expected to wear your retainer all the time for the first six months to a year. Your gums and alveolar bone need to fuse with the tooth roots, as well as heal, so until this is successfully completed, your retainer is crucial.

How Can I Take Care of My Retainer?

While wearing your retainer, you’ll need to take care of it just like you did your braces. This removable (or fixed) appliance in your mouth can develop plaque buildup just like your braces, teeth, and gums can. After eating, make sure you rinse out your mouth before reinserting your retainer. That is if you can’t brush your teeth. Should you begin to notice a foul odor coming from your retainer, begin soaking it in a cleaning solution or half mouthwash, half warm water. Never use hot warm, as it can warp your retainer.

Also, remember that anytime the retainer is not in your mouth, it should be in a protective case.