So you are on the path to a great smile with Braces or Aligners at Dr. Scramstad’s office. Temporarily on hold are the days where you can freely snack on whatever food you choose. Lettuce without getting caught in your wires? Nope. Yummy and gooey candies from grandmas place? Don’t think so. Living with braces can be a new found challenge for food lovers alike; but thankfully, at Align Ortho, we are experts in teaching our patients how to keep their food to braces ratio at a minimum.
Do you have a love for popcorn, apples, and chewy caramel bars? If you do, prepare yourself to give them up for a while you have your braces treatment. Unfortunately, foods like these are culprits of breaking your wires and elastics, as well as getting caught in between your braces.
Any food that involves a lot of chewing (like gum) will most likely cling to your brackets making it hard to remove and put you in quite a sticky situation (pun intended). Foods that are crunchy like nuts or carrots need to be cut into smaller, bite-sized pieces if you care to indulge in them. Just remember to be mindful of what you are eating, and you shouldn’t have a problem.
Travel toothbrush and floss kits can be a social lifesaver when you have braces. They make it convenient for you to sneak away to the bathroom and clean up your braces after enjoying your meal. These kits can be found at places like your local drug store and even in some grocery aisle.
Find a kit that is small enough to fit in your purse (ladies) or coat pocket (gentlemen). It shouldn’t take up too much room. Another tip we have is to keep a spare kit in your car for those just-in-case moments!
A mirror might be something you’d like to add to your braces emergency kit, but it’s also handy just to have on the go. You can easily flip out your pocket mirror and give yourself a smile safety check before you leave whatever venue you are at. Having a mirror with you is a time saver for when you have to make a quick exit, or it’s perfect for those moments when you feel some food between your brackets and can’t quite see where it’s located in the bathroom mirror.
Don’t worry, it’s not dorky at all! Would you rather have leftover broccoli in your braces, or a handy mirror in your pocket to rescue you from that awkward moment when your date tells you there is something in your teeth…
Just like we would advise you to rinse thoroughly after brushing, we encourage you to consume plenty of water when eating with braces. This helps to loosen and flush out any food particles that could be getting caught on the wires and brackets. Drinking lots of water also contributes to buff away any sugary particles that could cause cavities if your braces are not cleaned properly after eating.
Remember, water works wonders for your oral health!
After chewing and swallowing a large mouthful of food,gently run your tongue over your braces to feel around for leftover food bits. Although some of you might want to save it for a snack for later, we know it’s best to remove those particles now.
When you do get the chance to brush away the leftover food in your braces, try brushing your teeth at different perspectives.
Cleaning the outer surfaces of your teeth and braces with a circular motion will help to dislodge any bits of food stuck in between the brackets. Also, try tilting your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle so that you can clean the top and bottom of your braces. This trick should help remove anything sticky that may have grabbed onto your braces.
A friend will keep quiet when you have food in your teeth so as not to embarrass you. A good friend will make gestures around their mouth to give you a subtle hint. A great friend will proudly announce that you have Brussel sprouts lodged between your braces in front of your entire group of pals. (Okay, maybe a great friend wouldn’t go to that extreme, but they will tell you!)
The point is, the best way to know and avoid stepping outside of a restaurant, looking like you took the main dish with you, is to simply ask the people around you. If you inquire about it, then you’ll be able to clean it right away.
Do you believe that these tips will help save you from braces embarrassment? Let us know in the comments below if you’re going to try any of them out.