Wearing braces?

Here are some important tips to guide you through this process.
Dr Marc Sher (B.Ch.D), consultant to Litha Pharma.

Many of today’s adolescents (and even some adults) will have to wear braces to help straighten their teeth. During this period one has to be extra diligent about the way in which their mouth is cared for.

While the braces are there to help straighten the teeth, special care is needed to ensure the end result is successful.

Meticulous oral hygiene, watching what you eat, and regular visits to the orthodontist will help ensure the end result is a success.

Below are some pointers on how to best care for your mouth while wearing braces.

1. More places for food and plaque to hide!

When the orthodontist is finished applying the brackets and wires to your teeth (braces), you will notice a considerable difference in how your mouth feels. These brackets and wires create a lot more space where food and plaque will accumulate. It is crucial that you follow a strict oral hygiene routine because of this. Brushing with an electric toothbrush is essential as the rotating brush head is the only sure way to remove the plaque that has built up between the brackets. Many new electric toothbrushes will be able to fit a specialized brush head that helps get in between the wires of your braces. Flossing is vital in helping remove all the food and plaque that will get stuck between your braces. You will need to buy specialised floss that allows you to thread the floss between the wires and the teeth. Extra time will be needed to complete this task but this ensures that your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout.

2. Be gentle on your braces!

One of the many hassles with wearing braces is that they can break or come apart if one is not careful. Avoid eating food that is very hard and/or very sticky. Rather stick to a diet that is favourable while wearing braces. Foods such as; Nuts, bagels, hard candy, popcorn, sticky/crunchy peanut butter and toffees are NOT recommended while wearing braces. If a bracket or wire is broken or comes loose you must visit the orthodontist as soon as possible to have it fixed. Using special orthodontic wax (provided by your orthodontist) will help safeguard against traumatizing your gums or cheeks if a sharp point develops. Many people wearing braces will experience a traumatic sore or ulcer in their mouth at some point. This is best treated by applying BYE Mouth Ulcer to the affected area which enables the ulcer to heal quickly and painlessly.

3. Stick to the plan!

You orthodontist will give you a breakdown of the treatment plan when fitting your braces for the first time. This will require regular visits to see him or her. Stick to those visits! They will also require that you visit your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and check-ups. Some dentists recommend that you visit them every three months. During these visits a thorough cleaning will be done and all the teeth will be checked for cavities. Because braces make it harder for you to clean, having a professional assist you will ensure that your mouth stays in the best possible condition.

4. Wear protection!

If you play any form of contact sport it is very important that you protect your mouth and braces from taking a knock. Wearing of a specialized gum guard is vital. Your dentist will be able to assist you in having one of these gum guards made.

For more info, contact Sam or Hudah on 021 785 3683.

Issued on behalf of OTC Pharma SA by:

Leap Communications
+27 21 785-3683
info@leapcommunications.co.za

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