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If you’ve never had braces before but have had friends or family members who have, it can be difficult to know what life is like from the outside. Although your life won’t drastically change once you have braces on, there are definitely things that you will need to change and habits you’ll need to break. Your experience will vary depending on what type of braces you’re wearing such as traditional braces, Invisalign, Incognito Lingual braces, or clear ceramic braces, however, in this blog, we’re going to cover some general things you should avoid no matter what type of braces you’re wearing.

Chewing Ice

Although chewing ice is not great for your teeth even with braces off, it can also result in an unnecessary trip to the orthodontist when braces are on. Biting down on ice can easily break brackets or wires and significantly slow down the moving process meaning you’ll have braces on for longer. If you opt for something like Invisalign which doesn’t involve any brackets or wires, you’ll still experience soreness from chewing on ice, so it’s advised that you avoid it at all costs.

Forgetting To Floss

Flossing is equally, if not more important when you have your braces on than when they’re off. Why? Because food and bacteria are more likely to get stuck in between your teeth and are harder to get out by simply brushing. Sure, you’ll have to commit to spending a little more time each day with your oral hygiene routine, but it’s worth it. Ask your orthodontist about specialized orthodontic floss that can make the process a little easier for you. Brushing is just as important as it ever was so don’t forget to do that twice a day as well.

Neglect Treatment

If you’ve broken a bracket, wire, or have any concerns about your braces, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to braces. Think about it, if your braces are broken for a week, that’s a week longer you’re going to need to have the braces on.

Forgetting Your Orthodontics Wax

There’s nothing more frustrating than leaving for a long vacation only to have a wire cutting into your cheek, then realizing you left your orthodontics wax at home in your bathroom. You can make a trip to the nearest convenience store but there’s no guarantee that they’ll have any. Luckily if you opt for Invisalign, you’re off the hook on this one.

Drink Sugary Drinks

You may have been able to get away with drinking sugary drinks before having braces applied, but once they’re on, it’s not so easy. Although you should be brushing and flossing just as much as when braces were off, it’s significantly more difficult to make sure you get every part of the tooth, so it’s in your best interest to avoid things like sugary drinks that will get in all the hard to reach areas of your mouth.

Grind Your Teeth

If you had a problem with bruxism (grinding of the teeth) before getting braces on, you’re going to want to see a dentist about this. Bruxism can lead to reduced enamel on the teeth, tooth and jaw pain, and headaches, all of which will be amplified when braces are on. Bruxism is usually stress related and can often happen at night while sleeping.

Chew Gum

Let’s face it, we all love gum, especially teens and young adults. But when we have braces, chewing gum is not ideal. First of all, gum sticks to brackets and wires very easily and can not only be a pain to get out, but can get in the way of orthodontists doing their job. Gum can also loosen brackets and cause teeth to become sore. A lot of gum contains sugar so that just opens up a whole other can of worms to deal with.

Contact Camilo Riano Orthodontics

Camilo Riano Orthodontics is your top orthodontics practice in San Francisco and the surrounding areas. Many of our patients have concerns about what they can and can’t do with braces on so we take the time to make sure you feel comfortable once braces are on. Contact us today to learn more.