Getting used to braces can be a big adjustment. By following a few tips, you can help your time in braces not only fly by, but be uneventful.

Your toothbrush will become your best friend during your treatment. We suggest creating a braces care kit for on-the-go care. Pack a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. Remaining food debris left in your teeth can not only be embarrassing, but can be damaging to the health of your smile too. Brushing after meals and snacks can help you be confident no food debris remains in your brackets or wires. Your brackets create nooks and crannies where food particles can get trapped, When mingled with the bacteria that lives in your mouth, trapped food particles can, over time, create plaque buildup, which can lead to decay.

Remember to floss. Getting the floss under your wires can be tricky, but It is worth the extra few seconds it will add to your oral care routine. Flossing allows you to get between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach, and can help stave off gum disease and other oral health problems that could delay your treatment. You can use a floss threader or a water flosser to make flossing more manageable.

Visit your regular dentist. Your orthodontist is focused on attaining beautiful results for you, but that can only happen if your teeth are healthy. Don’t skip on visiting your regular dentist while you are in braces.

Remember the foods that are on your do-not-eat list. If you wear bracket and wire braces, you will need to make adjustments to your diet in order to avoid damaging them. Eating anything too hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy can pull at the brackets and damage the wires. Just say no to these types of foods to avoid a braces emergency.

Likewise, you will need to avoid eating foods that you bite into with your front teeth, like corn on the cobb and apples. These can pull your brackets loose. Cut corn off the cob, and cut other foods like apples into bite-sized pieces that you can chew with your back teeth.

Listen to your orthodontist. This is one of the most important steps during your care. Dr. Pavlo is a trained orthodontist who has helped hundreds of patients get the smiles of their dreams. So when he recommends something, it is for good reason. If he tells you to wear rubber bands during treatment, it is because he needs that force to achieve a certain movement that is needed to ensure your smile is perfect. If you are not compliant with your part of treatment, you can not only lengthen the amount of time you are in braces, but you will alter your results.

If you choose Invisalign as your treatment option, it is important to follow all care directions for the aligner trays. Never eat or drink anything but water while your aligners are in place. Doing so can damage them and alter their fit around your teeth. In order to effectively move your teeth, the aligners must be worn a minimum of 22 hours a day. Because they are removable, it can be tempting to remove them. But once you remove the aligners,  it can become easier to remove them more often. Remember, they can only move your teeth if they are in your mouth!

The better care you take of your braces, the more pleasant your orthodontic treatment will be.