4 Things To Avoid When Wearing Braces

Dentist Blog

About four million Americans currently have braces, and yet, not one of them enjoys dealing with the discomfort of having a mouth full of metal pieces. Though the long process of slowly adjusting your teeth can be irritating, the results are always worth it. But the good news is that you can avoid some of the most irksome aspects of metal braces if you avoid the four following situations.  

Biting Your Nails

It's difficult to break a nervous habit, but you risk breaking a lot more if you don't try to avoid biting your nails while you have metal braces. There are a couple of problems that people with a nail-biting habit, also known as onychophagia, can run into. The biggest issue is that it can set back your orthodontic progress. How? When you bite your nails, you put a significant amount of pressure on the roots of your teeth. Since the point of the braces is to slowly adjust your teeth, putting pressure in the wrong place can cause improper and unplanned movement. Additionally, biting your nails can damage the components of your braces requiring unplanned orthodontic visits and repairs.  

Playing Sports Without A Mouth Guard

Anyone who's ever had braces in the past will wince a little just reading that header. There's nothing more painful than getting bumped in the mouth while wearing braces. The metal pieces can cause painful damage to the insides of your cheeks and gums when you're unexpectedly jolted even gently. Imagine what an accidental elbow to the cheek during a basketball game might do. Always wear your mouthguard when playing sports even if it makes you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable. The alternative is not worth it.  

Eating Chewy and Sticky Foods

That piece of toffee might look irresistible, but don't forget how long it will take you to clean every bit of it out of your braces if you do. Sticky foods like toffee, caramel, brittle, and gum will get embedded in all of the little crevices in your brackets, and you'll be spending twice as long to clean them as it took to enjoy the candy. Any bits that aren't removed can damage your teeth and the components of your braces.  

Picking At Your Braces

It's hard to explain why some people begin a behavior that turns into a nervous habit, but it's not uncommon for some braces wearers to start picking at their brackets and wires without thinking. This habit can introduce bacteria into the mouth. However, there might be a logical explanation. If you find yourself doing this, the cause might be ill-fitting wires or bands so visit your orthodontist to make sure that's not the cause of your discomfort.

To learn more about braces, contact a local orthodontist.


23 July 2021

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