Stopping Orthodontic Problems Before they Start

Posted on 08/25/2015 by Dr. Lovrovich
A lime green mouthguard.

Orthodontic problems can occur, but they are not always a true emergency. If you know how to properly care for your orthodontics and what precautions to take, you can save yourself many headaches down the road. Even if you have had braces for a while, a reminder on what you should and should not be doing is always a good thing because as you get comfortable with your appliances, it is easy to forget about the things that could cause problems for your mouth down the road.

Watch your Diet

Perhaps the hardest thing to do when you have braces is to monitor your diet. Even if you are a popcorn fanatic or chew gum for stress relief, you are better off avoiding these foods in order to preserve the integrity of your braces. Try to keep the long-term goal in mind when you are frustrated about not being able to have your favorite foods. It won’t be long before you can enjoy them again, but this time you will have straight, beautiful teeth to show off just because you sacrificed these foods for a short period of time. Here’s a list of the most offensive foods to braces that should be avoided to prevent an emergency.

  • Hiding Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Excessively hard chips
  • Candy that is chewy or sticky
  • Hard bread
  • Corn on the cob
  • Crunchy, raw vegetables

Wear a Mouth Guard

Any outdoor activity or contact sport should warrant you to talk to us about the need for a mouth guard. Braces are very fragile and can cause severe damage to your mouth if an accident occurs. Rather than taking a risk, get fitted for a customized mouth guard to be worn during sports, roller blading, or biking. Why take a chance of suffering an unnecessary injury when you could wear a mouth guard and protect your braces? Remember the better care you take of your braces, the less time they have to be worn.

Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools

One of the easiest ways to break a bracket or wire is to use your teeth as tools. If you have a habit of biting your nails, using your teeth to open packages, or put non-food items in your mouth, now is the time to stop. These habits can all cause damage to your braces which will require a visit to the office, and a potentially longer treatment period.

Brush your Teeth Right and Often

Brushing your teeth as often as possible is the key to successful orthodontic treatment. Food can obviously get stuck in the braces much easier than it would without them. If you are unable to brush your teeth after every time that you eat, at the very least, you should rinse vigorously with water in order to dislodge any food that may be stuck in the brackets.

This will ensure that your teeth stay free from infection or decay as a result of food being left to fester in your mouth until you brush your teeth at the end of the day. If food is left to sit, it can cause eventual pain and even infection, which could warrant an emergency visit to our office for proper care.

Preventing orthodontic issues is crucial to proper treatment and good oral health. Of course, emergencies occur from time to time, which does not mean you are doomed to lengthy orthodontic treatment or poor oral health, but taking every precaution that you can will certainly benefit your overall situation.

If you are ready for your orthodontic consultation, please call our office today!

4540 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 140
Seattle WA 98105-3941

Tel: (206) 525-7000
Fax: (206) 525-0479

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