If you have been recommended for braces, it’s normal to wonder how the braces will affect your life. But a lot of people have already benefitted from braces, and it will help improve your quality of life, so if they can do it, so can you, right? Well, first things first: braces aren’t really that hard to live with, and it’s not the end of the world. As long as you know what to do, your braces don’t have to be a significant hindrance. Here’s your all-important guide to living with braces: what to expect.
Those who have had braces before may tell you that the first few days can be a challenge. In fact, it can take up to a week before you become used to the braces. At first, your tongue and cheeks may also chafe, especially as they rub against the bands and brackets. The same is true for your teeth, which may actually feel a bit sore. Bear in mind that for every brace adjustment, you may feel a bit of discomfort for a few days as well.
The way you talk
There’s good news in this regard: contrary to what people may think, braces are not likely to affect the way you talk or speak at all. You won’t have a so-called ‘lisp’ either. This goes for regular fixed braces. However, if you have to use an accessory such as a palatal expander, which will be attached to the roof of the mouth, it may have an effect on your speech. The same is true with lingual braces, as it may take some practice and time before you can be comfortable with the braces and speak more clearly.
The way you eat
As an expert orthodontist from Ashburn VA’s American Braces Smile Center will tell you, soft food is recommended for those first few days. You do, however, need to watch what you eat even afterwards. If you eat food that is hard, this may end up dislodging the bands or brackets or damage the wiring. Try to take just small, bite-sized pieces of food rather than large portions; and avoid nuts. If you have the habit of biting pencils or biting your nails, find a way to avoid this as well. When eating fruits that are hard, such as apples, cut it into smaller pieces first. Stay away from food and beverages which are high in sugar, such as soda and candy or sweets.
The way you brush
When you eat, try not to leave any food residue on the braces, and you have to make sure to brush your teeth longer, especially in the morning and at night. It’s important to brush regularly and to brush after meals and snacks as well so you can reduce the likelihood of gum disease or tooth decay.