Care of bracesMany kids (and adults) are getting braces to help fix their smile. Many have severe overbites or underbites and they need some help to get their bites just right. Others have too many or too little teeth and they need to adjust their mouths accordingly.

Without proper care, your braces won’t do what they are meant to. Here are some tips to help you live with braces.

You must still brush and floss, even with braces. It actually is even more important now that you have them. However, you have to use caution when you are brushing or flossing your teeth. You need to brush after every meal using a toothbrush with a soft head. Then, you can’t be too rough or you will damage the wires and brackets. Flossing can break the wires if you use too much force.

Some foods are better left uneaten. You are going to need to stay away from foods that are sticky, chewy, or hard. These foods can easily get stuck in your teeth and braces, causing damage.

You also want to avoid things that you put into your mouth. Nail biters and pen chewers have been known to break their braces when they are chewing on certain things. Ice can also cause a lot of damage.

Wear a mouth guard during sports and other activities. It is a good idea to wear a mouth guard so that you don’t have to give up your favorite sports when you have braces.

Don’t miss your orthodontist follow up appointments. These appointments are very important to ensure that your braces are doing what they need to do. They will also adjust the braces accordingly to how they are doing and how they fit. If you continuously miss appointments, you may have to wear them even longer!

Though braces can be an inconvenience, they are definitely worth it to get the smile that you deserve. However, if you don’t end up taking care of them and your mouth, you might have to wear them longer than you want. Make sure that you go to your follow up appointments so that they can be adjusted as needed so that they do the job that you need them too.