7 Ways to Cope with Braces as a Teenager
Getting braces can be a huge deal for many teenagers. It can affect you both physically and emotionally. There is an adjustment period that you must ride through. There will be food restrictions and you may have some speech issues as your mouth adjusts to braces.
From your child’s first check up at the dentist to possible wisdom teeth removal at the dentist, proper oral care is a process through our entire lives. One of those things that many children face is the need for braces. Here are 7 tips for braces that will help you navigate this journey as a teenager.
Embrace the Braces
Braces are quite common amongst teenagers but that doesn’t mean you would necessarily feel comfortable with having them. The first step in coping with braces is to accept them whole-heartedly. If you look around, you will notice quite a few people who have braces. This should help you feel less conscious about them.
However, if you still feel embarrassed by your braces, draw attention away from your mouth. For example, skip the lip gloss that will draw attention to your teeth, get a new haircut, put on cool accessories, or go for trendy eyewear.
Focus on the End Goal
Getting braces as a teenager can seem like the end of the world and cause anxiety. What can help is focusing on the end goal – which is to have straighter teeth and a better smile.
Ask your dentist for an approximate end date. If you know when the braces will come off, you will focus more on the end date than anything else. It will help you realize that braces won’t be on your teeth for as long as you would imagine.
Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
Regular appointments with the dentist will help in tackling various issues that you might have.
Your braces can make you prone to plaque and tartar accumulation between your teeth. You may need dental cleaning to clear them off. Regular dental appointments will help in keeping your teeth clean and tackle issues like tooth sensitivity, bad breath, or cavities.
Over-the-counter medication helps in relieving some pain. Ask your dentist to prescribe you some if necessary. However, keep the use of painkillers to a minimum. Take them only when the pain becomes unbearable.
Follow the directions for the painkiller you are taking. If you rely heavily on painkillers, there will be side-effects. Take the dosage as per your age and weight.
If your dentist appointments are painful, you can take one painkiller before your appointment. Inform your doctor about the same.
Apply Dental Wax
The brackets of the braces can rub against your lips or cheeks. This can be quite irritating and painful.
To avoid this from happening, use dental wax to create a barrier between your braces, and lips and cheeks.
Roll a small piece of wax to make a small ball. Cover the area that is irritating your mouth by flattening the wax over the metal. Even if it comes off and you swallow it by mistake, don’t worry as it is non-toxic.
Request for Invisalign
If braces are an option that you just do not want to consider, ask your parents if you can opt for Invisalign.
They are much less noticeable than metal braces but equally effective. Due to their transparency, Invisalign is becoming a popular choice amongst teens.
Check with an orthodontist if you are the right candidate for Invisalign. You may need some adjustment before they are fitted.
Understand What to Avoid Eating
There are certain foods that you should absolutely avoid when you have metal braces. Sticky foods and hard, crunchy foods top that list.
Sticky foods like gummy bears, caramel, licorice, and chewing gums are an absolute no-no as they can get stuck between the brackets. Taking them off would almost be impossible.
Hard foods such as nuts, apples, corn on the cob, and candy must also be avoided. The hard foods can bend the braces wire, break a bracket or even pop it off. Moreover, hard foods will make your mouth sore.
Maintain Oral Hygiene
The final and most important things to do is maintain good oral hygiene. This will help in preventing dental issues like cavities and tooth decay. Brush and floss after every meal. This will wash away the debris and prevent bad breath too.
Well, now you know how to prepare for braces. Just follow these tips and the braces will come off before you know it.
Emily Taylor found the perfect fit for herself as the Online Marketing Manager at Thurman Orthodontics in Fresno CA as she believes that a great smile does more than just make a person look great – it makes them feel great as well. The power of a smile has always been a mystery to Emily, and she loves researching and writing about it. She writes about everything to do with a healthy bite and a beautiful smile – whether is it ways to achieve it or the importance of it in the various aspects of life. What brings a big smile on Emily’s face is her family and surfing. She also likes to bake, and her children and co-workers call her the cookie fairy!