Keeping your teeth healthy now can save you agony later – while brushing and flossing are essential, other lifestyle routines and habits can cause long-term damage.
When you’re also taking care of your teeth with braces or Invisalign, there’s a greater focus on maintaining tooth health. To keep your teeth and jaw looking and feeling great, here are some things you should avoid.
- Drinking Carbonated or High-Sugar Drinks
Any health professional will urge you to avoid soft drinks, energy drinks, and sugary juice. Not only can these beverages cause cavities and staining, but you can also wear your enamel away from the acid in these drinks.
When you have braces, you must consider what condition your teeth will be in after they’re removed. The tooth surface under your brackets will look different, so the damage on your teeth will stand out. It’s best to stick to water and only break out the soft drinks on special occasions.
- Sticky or Chewy Candy
Orthodontists will warn you to avoid certain foods – it’s one of the sacrifices you must make when you’re getting braces. Gum, taffy, and gummies can damage the wires and brackets, not to mention the effects the sugar has on your teeth.
By eating and chewing sticky candy, you can break or dislodge pieces of your braces that only your orthodontist can fix. It can prolong the time you have to wear your braces, and that’s the last thing anyone wants.
- Chewing on Solid Objects
If you’re someone who chews on pens or pencils out of stress or bites your fingernails, you should take steps to stop it. Chewing and biting on solid objects can eat your teeth’s enamel, wear down your teeth, and even cause jaw problems. Yes, even ice counts as a solid.
When you have braces, chewing on solid items can potentially dislodge the brackets, break wires, or cause damage to the soft tissue in your mouth. It’s a tough habit to break but puts an end to the havoc it can cause on your teeth.
- Playing Sports Without a Mouthguard
No one is too cool for a mouthguard, and no one can pull off missing teeth like a professional hockey player. If you play a contact sport, you should wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw from injury.
Despite some sports not requiring mouthguards to play, you can never be overly cautious – especially when your smile is involved.
- Brushing Immediately After Eating Acidic Foods
It seems counterintuitive to avoid brushing our teeth after eating, but it’s actually better to brush before you eat. When you drink coffee, eat citrus, or enjoy anything acidic, brushing immediately can wear away your enamel faster.
When you have braces, you might be tempted to brush after every snack to remove food particles that get caught, but it’s better to pick them out with floss rather than brushing. If you’re worried about post-coffee breath, using mouthwash following your meals is harmless.
Whether you currently have braces or Invisalign or are simply enjoying the effects of corrective orthodontic treatment, the process of taking care of your teeth is ongoing. If you want to enjoy your smile without pain and discomfort, it never stops.
When you come in for your consultation at Level Orthodontics, we can answer any questions about the lifestyle habits you must make or break to make your treatment time go by in a flash with lasting results.