Wearing braces can be a significant step in your life. They are an excellent means to get a perfect smile with straight teeth. However, the journey to well-aligned teeth isn’t free of challenges. After all, braces attempt to change your teeth’s shape that are adamant to get back to their original setting.
It makes sense that your path to a perfect smile is not an easy one. But you are not alone: According to the American Association of Orthodontists, there are around 4 million Americans who wear braces. In fact, the same source reveals that the number of brace wearers has nearly doubled in the US between 1982 and 2008.
Let’s dive into the common issues that people face when living with braces:
1. Bad breath – Getting braces is only the first rung on the ladder to good-looking teeth. There’s a lot more that you need to pay attention to including a particular focus on your oral hygiene. The oral care habits that you practised before getting braces may not work after getting braces. This opens the doors to bad breath. Braces’ brackets provide ample hidden spots for accumulation of small bits of food. This encourages the growth of bacteria, which give off foul smell. The issue can be best resolved by immediately brushing your teeth after every meal. At the most, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash.
2. Litany of myths – Life with braces also means that you will occasionally come across myths that will leave you scratching your head. The most common one of these is that your braces interfere with radio signals. Folks may even confuse you by warning you against participating in sports or playing musical instruments, specifically, the ones played by mouth. Moreover, people who wear braces often hear that they are magnetic. To top this list, there’s also a red flag planted in your way that declares that your braces may lock by kissing another individual with braces. It is best to remember that all these shots across the bow are false. These have no reasonable basis, so you shouldn’t let the myths ruffle your feathers.
3. Limited food choices – Another common thing that people living with braces face is that they have to make careful food choices. Put simply, they cannot go about eating Twizzlers or chewing gum. Such foods are sticky by nature, and they can interfere with the wires in your mouth. This spirals the chances of broken or loose braces. Such breakage adds to the time of your treatment. Hard foods also have the same impact on your braces as they can break the brackets or so. You are also more likely to experience oral problems with braces. Therefore, choosing food wisely is paramount. In this regard, avoid sugary foods and beverages.
4. Issues in chewing – It is also common for new braces’ wearers to experience problems in chewing. In the initial phase, the brackets and wires can irritate your cheeks, gums as well as lips. This can make chewing problematic. Typically, you can get relief from tissue irritation by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. You can make chewing easy by relying on only soft foods. Slow down while you eat and have small bites. Try to get used to biting with your side teeth as biting from your front teeth can culminate in loose or broken brackets. Bid farewell to seeds and nuts. These can get stuck to the brackets and lead to problems. The same applies to the hulls of popcorn.
5. Failure to use teeth as tool – In general, you shouldn’t use teeth as tools, for instance, for opening a bag of crisps. However, this is a common matter that people with braces should be careful about. This means no attempts at opening drink bottles with your teeth. Such a move can loosen or break the wires or brackets. It can also weaken your teeth, and can even break, fracture, or chip them. All these effects can aggravate the problems if you wear braces.
6. Poor oral health and associated problems – It is also common for people living with braces to face oral health issues. A broad range of problems can surface including gingivitis and sensitivity. Gingivitis happens when the tissues around your teeth become swollen. The problem can intensify and result in bleeding, redness, tenderness, or swelling. It can also increase the treatment time. Similarly, demineralisation is also common. It occurs when bacteria come in contact with the food left on your teeth. Consequently, acid is created, which leaves white scars on your teeth as they lessen the phosphate and calcium in your teeth. Other issues include sensitivity, as well as build up of tartar and plaque.
People with braces face numerous problems. Some common ones include poor oral health, bad breath, issues in chewing, and so on. They also have to be careful about the food on their plate.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter @meetalycia