Orthodontic treatment has come a very long way in being more patient friendly, as all of medicine has. The brackets are more comfortable, the torque of the wire is distributed more evenly, and the materials have become finer and less irritating as well. But the fact remains: you will have to spend anywhere from 6 months to 2 years with a metal device adhered to your teeth, and this is bound to cause some discomfort. Here are some of the things to look out for, and how to minimise their hold on your life.
Speech and dental braces
Because your teeth are now slightly larger, your speech may be affected. Your tongue may not be able to get everywhere with the speed it used to, because your dental braces may be in the way, and your lip may have a hard time covering the right tooth. This will dissipate overtime, but some people are stuck with a speech impediment until the braces come off. Try to slowly pronounce the words that are giving you trouble, and try to find new ways for you to say the tricky words with your new dental braces.
The soft bits
Your tongue, lips and even your gums can get caught in the nooks, crannies and crevices that your new orthodontic appliance now has. Usually these bits get caught in the space between the tooth and the bracket, as this ominous little space is just in the right place for your tongue to get caught in when you swipe your teeth. The insides of the cheeks can also get caught in your dental braces, if you suck your cheeks or bite them. Although this sounds very scary, this is usually only a mild nuisance, and the tissue in question can be easily removed from its makeshift trap. If you cannot remove it though, do NOT force it, as this can damage your soft tissues and your dental braces as well. Call your orthodontist and ask for help.
Food and dental braces
Perhaps the most shocking change will be in how you feel about the consistency of food. Food that you used to like may not seem so pleasurable, because they are a strange consistency that does not feel good to eat with dental braces. certain food, like taffy, hard candy and corn on the cobb are off limits because they can destroy the braces, or just loosen them. Mushy porridge and other similar types of food may not feel too good to eat, and may be very difficult to clean out of your dental braces. Try and experiment with small quantities of food first, to see if you like eating it with your dental braces. Soon, you will find the meals you like, and even if you have to change your diet for the time of the treatment, remember: it’s only temporary.