Sure, it’s hard to imagine anyone being especially stoked about getting fitted for braces. Instead of the blessing they actually are, most people consider braces the bane of their existences, a black mark on their social lives and overall appeal. The fact is, most of us serve a stint with braces, but there is no need to treat the time like a prison sentence. In fact, everything in life is about perspective, and braces are no exception.
For example, did you know that braces could actually be argued as a French fashion accessory? Well, it’s true. First created in 1728, Pierre Fauchard introduced the world – or at least – the world in France, to the existence of braces. Considered the “father of modern orthodontics,” Fauchard authored The Surgeon Dentist and likely inspired the careful, and continued progress of dental procedures, like braces.
So, if recast in the right light, rocking braces is at once contemporary and ultra vintage; in other words, the very definition of trend-setting style. Is this a stretch? Sure. But are braces forever? Absolutely not. On average, most people who need braces will wear them for approximately two years. Some lucky ducks only sport their metal for six months. Granted, there are those serving extended terms, but they are few and far between. And who knows what kinds of activity earned them those extra few months, anyway?
The point is, for so many people, braces are the key to a better smile and arguably enhanced overall self-esteem. You know that expression “put your best face forward?” Well, it’s tough to do that if your teeth resemble a row of bombed out buildings. So, in appreciation of braces, bear in mind a few healthy habits to extend their efforts even further.
Habit #1 – Soft and Easy
With the brushing, that is. Brushing on the regular is even more beneficial to those of you with braces than without for very obvious reasons. Although your braces are doing a heap of good, they’re also trapping a heap of food between their wires and between them and your teeth. So, brushing after every meal – an absolute minimum of twice a day, is crucial.
When you brush, which as we said should be often, you’ll want to use a softhead brush. Anything beyond that and you run the risk of damaging your braces. You want to get the job done, but without incurring other issues along the way. So, reach for the softhead bristles and get scrubbing.
Habit #2 – For the Love of Floss!
Seriously. You’ve been lectured on flossing countless times and, odds are, you’re still not buying into its importance. Well, here’s the deal: if you don’t floss when you’re sporting braces, you might as well stick a foot – or anything else disgusting – into your mouth. Again, your braces will trap food just about everywhere and without careful flossing, that food will just settle in, make germ baby after germ baby, and harden into plaque. Now, don’t go nuts – gentle flossing is key. You don’t want to risk messing with the wires on your braces and spending unnecessary time with your orthodontist.
Habit Three – Guard Yourself!
This holds especially true for those of you who spend your free time on the soccer field, basketball court, or baseball diamond. Protect your teeth and your braces by wearing a mouth guard. Sure, mouth guards aren’t hard to come by, but you really ought to book in with your dentist and schedule time to have a custom-fit mouth guard designed for you. A snug, yet comfortable, fit makes all the difference when it comes to keeping you and your mug safe on the playing field.
Habit Four – Cease and Desist!
There are certain snacks that are just off-limits when you sport braces. It’s in your best interest, and the strength of your braces, to avoid extra sticky or crunchy snacks. So, kick the gummy bears to the curb for now, and resist the Rold Gold pretzel bag. Your braces and your teeth will thank you. Gummy bears are delicious, but devilish when it comes to sliding between your teeth and braces and just sticking around. The same holds true for snacks like pretzels. Sure, they’re not sticky, but shards of them can break free as you chew and lodge themselves into tight spots between teeth and wires.
Look at your braces as a long-term investment. The better care you take now, the greater the pay off to having a healthy, bright smile for years to come. Give the office a call at 617-984-5888, and ask Shelby at the Quincy location, or Sara, in Malden, to schedule your next appointment and, if necessary, get a referral to an orthodontist. Remember, braces today means a beautiful smile tomorrow.