Millions of children, teens, and adults are fitted for orthodontics every year, but getting braces is only half the battle. Family ortho Dr. Chad Carver, DMD, and the experienced team at Stellar Family Orthodontics want you to see the best results possible with braces. Caring for your braces properly is a critical step in achieving a beautiful, healthy smile. With an affordable orthodontist in Mill Creek and Mukilteo, Washington, our team has plenty of tips and tricks to protect your braces.
It’s no secret that certain foods can be difficult to eat with braces. Some can even shorten the lifespan of your orthodontics. But did you know that there are plenty of other bad habits to break if you have braces?
Bad habits to break with braces
Braces are specially engineered to straighten malaligned teeth and correct bite issues. They can be made out of many different materials, such as metal and ceramics. Why braces are durable, they aren’t immune to damage. That’s why you should avoid these bad habits while wearing braces:
Biting your nails
A nail biting habit is tough to break, but doing so can help extend the life of your braces and protect your teeth from damage. Nails are relatively hard and resilient. Biting them habitually puts pressure on your teeth that can lead to erosion and chips. The stress can even shift your teeth out of alignment.
To break your nail biting habit, trim them with nail clippers. This can help you avoid the temptation to bite your nails.
Tearing packages open
Opening plastic packaging can be frustrating without a pair of scissors on hand. While you may be tempted to tear open the package with your teeth, doing so can seriously damage your braces. Using your teeth to tear hard materials, like plastic, puts enough stress on them to damage your brackets and wires. You can even end up with a chipped tooth.
You can save yourself a lot of time and money on costly dental work by investing in scissors. If you absolutely don’t have any on hand, wait to open your package until you can find a sharp utensil.
Chewing on ice is extremely dangerous for the brackets and wires of your braces. Ice is hard, strong, and takes plenty of force to break. Braces aren’t designed to withstand that high level of pressure. Ice can also cause pain for those with sensitive teeth.
Many people chew on ice in the summer to cool down. If possible, try sucking on ice if it’s hot out. But if you can’t stop yourself from chewing ice cubes, it’s best to avoid them altogether when you have braces.