As frustrating as braces might be, you have to admit that they’re also pretty cool. Your Irvine dentist is literally rearranging part of your skeletal system to give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Of course, that does come with a level of sacrifice. You have to be careful with braces. You have to skip certain foods, use new oral hygiene products, and avoid any injury that could damage your braces. The sad truth is that a break could add weeks to your schedule, and no one wants that.
How to Protect Your Braces from Damage
Although it’s important to brush carefully and wear a mouthguard when you’re active, food is the most common culprit when it comes to broken braces. Foods that are chewy, sticky, or hard are the most likely to cause serious damage, so it’s best to avoid them. In addition, you should also avoid foods that have small, hard pieces. Popcorn is a prime example, and it’s far too easy for popcorn to get stuck in your braces, where it can cause damage.
Luckily, there are still plenty of delicious foods that you can enjoy, especially if you cut or cook possibly problematic foods to reduce the risk. Remember that it’s just a couple of years, and then you’ll have a lifetime of smiles as payment back.
Where Do Braces Break?
There are three primary pieces that make up your standard braces. There are the brackets, which are the little square pieces affixed to the front of your teeth. Then you have the bands. The bands are the little circular pieces that your orthodontist placed around your molars. They anchor the archwire that connects each individual bracket.
Brackets are one of the most common breaks orthodontists see. In most cases, the patient chews on something that puts enough pressure on the bracket to dislodge the dental cement from the tooth. Unfortunately, that means the affected tooth is no longer included in the system, and it can get pulled out of line very easily. Another relatively common break is the archwire. In that case, it’s even more important to get back to your orthodontist because half of your teeth are affected.
What to Do If Your Braces Break
There is always a small chance that your braces might break even when you’re doing everything right. Accidents happen, so you need to know how to deal with a break just in case.
Have a Good Look
Try not to mess with your teeth or your braces if you suspect something is broken. Instead, do a visual examination. If you have braces, it’s best to keep a mouth mirror in your bathroom just in case.
You will need to look for loose brackets and other evidence of breakage. Once you know what is broken, give your orthodontist a call. The severity of the break will help to determine how urgently they need to see you.
Protect Your Mouth
Your brackets and archwires are metal and they have sharp edges. The last thing you want to do is risk oral injury while you wait for your appointment. Luckily, dental wax is great for softening those sharp edges until your orthodontist can see you. If you have the misfortune of breaking a band, then hold onto it until your appointment.
Call Your Doctor
Once you’ve retrieved any lost pieces and dulled the sharp edges, give your dental office a call. For orthodontics in Irvine, OC Dental Specialists is always ready to help ensure that you get the most out of your braces. Depending on the severity of the break and risk of injury, they’ll book you in for their next available appointment. As long as you address it immediately, a break doesn’t have to be a big deal.
Addressing the Problem
Within a couple of days, your braces will be like new. You’ll be back on your journey towards a perfect smile.