Bronx, NY – When you are at home, as most of us have been for the majority of the past year, caring for your smile with braces has probably been relatively easy. Everything you need is right there, tucked away safely in your drawers or medicine cabinets in your bathroom. But as the world opens back up and we begin to venture back out, it’s important that we know how to care for our braces while on the go, whether it be at school, work, or traveling. Dr. Catherine Woo offers some tips.
“Taking proper care of your smile is always essential, but especially so while in braces,” says Dr. Woo, a Bronx-area orthodontist. “Cavities or other oral health issues can set back our treatment times, so we want to take extra care to brush and floss regularly.”
Pack an on-the-go kit that contains the essentials. In a small travel bag, pack a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, orthodontic wax, case (for holding clear aligners or retainer), and even some over-the-counter pain medicine.
It’s important to brush your teeth after you eat, so a travel sized toothbrush and toothpaste will come in handy. We know that especially during school days and workdays trying to find the time to eat and properly brush can be difficult, so use your time wisely. Be sure you take advantage of the time you have to eat a well-balanced meal, but also to save time to brush so you can remove food debris and insure nothing is stuck in your braces. If you wear clear aligners, brushing will ensure that no food debris can get trapped between the aligner and your teeth. Taking the time out to do this every day will keep your smile healthy throughout treatment.
Orthodontic wax is important, especially in the first few weeks of getting your braces. The insides of your cheeks and mouth are sensitive, so it will take them time to get used to the appliances in your mouth. Wax can be used to soften any areas that cause discomfort.
Over-the-counter pain medication is always a good idea to keep on hand, especially immediately following a tightening appointment. Your mouth can be a bit sensitive right after one of these visits, so over-the-counter pain medication can help.
Know the dos and don’ts of your treatment
Knowing what you can and can’t do during your treatment is important, as well. If you have braces, it’s important to remember the types of foods you shouldn’t eat. This will help you avoid any braces problems while you are on the go.
Usually, you’ll be able to handle these issues on your own until you can get in to see your orthodontist. Know what to do if a bracket comes loose, a wire comes out, or you lose a ligature tie. Have your orthodontist office’s phone number on hand. We can talk you through how to take care of the situation until you can get in to see us
If you have opted for a removable option such as Invisalign, it’s important to remember to remove your aligners every time you eat or drink anything other than water. This will prevent damage and staining.
Dr. Woo and her team at Riverdale Family Orthodontics are here to help you throughout your orthodontic journey. We are excited to hear about your travels and see your triumphs at work and school. We are also here to help you keep your orthodontic treatment on track, so we’re available to answer questions or address concerns whenever they pop up. Call our office at 718-884-7700.