Okay, so living with braces can be a bit inconvenient at times. It takes longer to brush and floss (link to blog post guide to brushing your teeth with braces), you have to be careful about what you eat, and maybe your mouth feels a little sore after a tightening appointment.
The good news? You’ll love the straight and beautiful teeth you’ll have when you’re done!
In the meantime, here are some tips that will make having braces easier and more pleasant.
Make a “To-Go” Kit
Even people without braces get annoyed when a piece of mango is stuck between their teeth, and there’s no floss on hand to get it out.
Make every day with braces better by putting together a little kit that you can take wherever you go. Buy a small cosmetic bag or even use a zippered plastic baggie, and stash the following:
Lip balm or chapstick
Advil and/or Tylenol
Travel-size bottle of your favorite mouth rinse
Of course, you don’t have to include everything. Maybe the toothbrush and floss are enough, and you elect to leave your Proxabrush at home. Feel free to tailor our list to your personal needs!
Have To-Go Choices in the Fridge
Life in the Western North Carolina can get busy, so you may not always have time to boil and mash potatoes, or even whip up some fluffy scrambled eggs. That’s why it’s a great idea to apply the same “to-go kit” idea to your fridge and pantry.
Some great grab-and-go snacks include single-serving sizes of:
Remember, anything can be “grab and go” if you pre-make a large batch and put it in small containers in the fridge. Meal prepping works just as well for people with braces as it does for health and fitness enthusiasts!
We also have a whole blog post on foods that are great for braces-clad mouths, if you’d like to view that here. Bon appetit!
Wear a Mouthguard
Is sports practice where you’re headed? Make sure you protect your teeth and braces with a mouthguard!
Peek in the Mirror
Since food can get caught in your braces pretty easily, make sure to take a look in the mirror after every meal or snack. Optimally you’re brushing your teeth after every meal, but when you don’t have that option, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re not walking around with any spinach between your pearly whites.
Don’t have a mirror? Use the selfie camera on your phone or even download a mirror app!
And while we’re on the topic of appearance, ladies who don’t want to draw attention to their braces should steer clear of bright lipsticks or shiny glosses. Instead, opt for a neutral lip color with dramatic eyes and a glowy cheekbone highlight.
That being said, we hope you’re so confident that you’ll continue wearing any lip color you love!
Make it Short and Effective
Did you know that you have some power over how long you stay in braces? While the length of your treatment is mostly determined by what your teeth and bite need, you can make sure you don’t extend things.
Take care of your teeth and braces. Don’t skip appointments. Wear your rubber bands as instructed. These little things can make a larger impact on your experience than you may think.
When your braces come off, apply the same diligence to wearing your retainer. That way, you won’t have to wear braces all over again!
Smoking is bad for you – and stains your teeth. If you smoke while you have braces, it might result in dark teeth with lighter little squares in the middle when they come off. And you didn’t spend all that time working on your smile for anything short of perfection! Even worse, smoking will slow down the movement of your teeth!
Like anything in life, braces are what you make of them! Don’t let yourself feel self-conscious and unhappy. We know this is easier said than done, but it can help to:
Remember that braces are incredibly common
Remember they’ll result in better oral health
Remember they’ll result in straighter, more beautiful teeth
Remember that trying not to show your braces will only draw more attention to your mouth. Smile!
Remember that people will follow your lead. If you give off confident vibes, they will respond to them – even if you have to “fake it ‘til you make it!”!
You might be totally cool with wearing braces, and not even need the reminder to be confident. We hope so! You are making your life a lot better, and setting a great example for your friends with braces or who need braces.
No matter how you feel, remember this is your life, and your health and happiness should take center stage. You’re doing something great for your health! And hopefully that also makes you happy!