Most people believe that having braces means having a mouth full of metal getting in the way of their having a good smile. What these people do not actually realize is just how far braces have come since they were first used. These days you can get brackets with special shapes. You can get them made with different colors and with different materials. Boring gray square pieces of metal are a thing of the past.
The hardest part about getting used to life with braces is adjusting to all of the extra care you need to take with your mouth now that you have them. You can’t just settle for plain flossing and brushing. You need to make sure that in addition to your actual teeth, you are properly caring for your brackets and wires as well. You should use a water pik to make sure that your teeth and brackets are completely rid of gunk and plaque that builds up in the tiny spaces between teeth and wires. Use a good mouth rinse too, just to make sure that all of your bases are covered. Your orthodontist will tell you which mouth washes work best with braces.
You are also going to have to get used to some changes in your diet. The orthodontist probably gave you a list of the foods that you can’t eat and that you have to avoid when you have braces on your teeth. These foods are primarily sticky ones—things like taffy, gum, etc. It’s also smart to eschew sugary and acidic beverages like soda and fruit juice. The sugar eats away at the glue that holds the brackets to your teeth. The sticky foods can actually pull brackets off. Not just that but the braces weaken the enamel on your teeth which makes it harder than it was before for your teeth to fight off damage that these foods cause.
Not only are there foods you have to avoid, there are textural changes that are going to affect your diet. During the days after you get your braces tightened, your mouth is going to be sore and your teeth are going to be weak. Eat soft foods like soups and pudding so that you won’t hurt yourself further.
These are just some of the changes that occur when you have braces, but they are important. What is the most important of all, however, is that you understand that—in spite of a few changes to your routine—your life can still feel normal and regular. You can live a full life with braces. You can even have a fun life with braces!