If you have undergone orthodontic treatment before, you will know that it requires you to change your entire lifestyle. Aside from foods that you will need to quit, and that list is quite extensive, you may also encounter a speech impediment, and may need to change the way that you articulate words. But there are also other things you may need to change, and these fit best into the category of personal habits. Here are some of the ones that you will need to kick, as they can interfere with or even disrupt orthodontic treatment.
Hair and nails
If you chew your hair or bite your fingernails, you will need to find something else to chew on, and sadly gum is not an option. The reason for this is because you can dislodge the braces on your front teeth by constantly pushing them with the object you chew, like your hand.
In the case of nails, you get small clippings of nail stuck in between your bracket and your tooth, and removing the stuck nail may be painful, can dislodge the bracket, or can move it incrementally, producing a weaker result and a longer treatment time.
With hair, the individual strands of hair can become entangled in the brackets, and can even get stuck on the wire. This can result in a comical situation if the hair gets stuck, but the comedy can quickly turn tragic as you can start to feel like your mouth is pulling your hair. Not to mention that fact that having hair stuck in your mouth feels nasty after a while, even if you like to chew hair. The other problem is that if more strands of hair get stuck at the same time, you may dislodge or slightly move the brackets when attempting to pull the hair out of the bind it is in.
Some people like to chew ice cubes and icicles, either for comfort or just for the sensation of having something cold in your mouth. This is not a great habit even without braces, as a sudden drop or rise in temperature can crack the enamel and invite infection, inflammation, and toothache. With braces, chewing ice is an even bigger no no, as in addition to the enamel reacting to the temperature drop, the orthodontic device will also react, and may shrink or expand depending on the previous temperature inside the mouth. This may cause pain, as with shrinkage of the device and the wire, there will be a pulling sensation, and even if it expands, the course of the treatment may be altered, and will definitely increase the amount of time spent in braces.
Smoking stains the device and dries out the mouth, which makes the treatment more painful, and makes the tissues slightly less receptive to orthodontic treatment. They may also lengthen the time spent in braces - if the mouth is really dried out, as is the case for heavy smokers, treatment will be more painful, and will cause the patient to react poorly to treatment.
These are the things one should avoid while in braces that are fairly common habits. Make sure you consult your dentist before getting braces to find out what lifestyle choices you may need to make, and what additional habits you may need to forego, as well as a list of foods that are off limits in braces.