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Master Dental Braces Before They Master You
Wearing braces can be one of the hardest things a person will ever do in life. Still, it doesn’t have to be that way. I write this from the bottom of my heart to anyone who has braces and needs to know how to manage them instead of them controlling you. Thongs don’t have to be a hassle, they can actually be fun if you master a few areas from the first day you get them…
I am sure this letter will reach many age groups, which is my hope and prayer. You see, I’m 41 years old and it felt kind of weird to get full braces. Everyone in the waiting room was between 7 and 25, but my dentist said get them or don’t wait for my teeth to straighten. If you are a kid, I hope you will love this article. If you are an adult, I hope I can encourage you too.
Let’s get down to it. How to control your braces instead of them controlling you. A little disclaimer: What has worked for me may not work for you, so follow your dentist or doctor’s advice first, but I’m going to be blunt and specific to help most of you right now. .
The best advice I got from the beginning. Relax. Relax and try not to think about them being in your mouth. In fact, the dentist told me: don’t think about it. Just be yourself and be normal. It was priceless. Why?
The first day I got my braces I wanted to take them back and tell the doctor to rip them off my face. I thought about the $4,600 I had to pay (my insurance didn’t cover it because I’m over 25) and I thought how I didn’t care if I had to pay it, just keep this bottom from tearing my cheeks!
Clear. So I’m not trying to scare you, but wearing braces can be difficult if you don’t master them before they master you!
First, you need to have fun, laugh and be yourself just like before you got braces. I know, I know the instructions say “no sugar, no sweets, no candy, etc, etc, etc, follow your dentist’s instructions, but I say, use moderation instead and enjoy the food!
The teeth hurt for a while. Some things are normal that you don’t feel normal. I already called my dentist and all of the following are normal, believe it or not: teeth moving, you can touch your teeth and see them move, pain, tightness and more.
My dentist told me I should be back to normal in about 1-2 weeks. No dice. It took me about a month and a half. After a month I started feeling like my old “me” and started enjoying my food. Now about the food. Please don’t make the mistake I did, don’t try to eat ALL your teeth at once.
I thought ok I better be normal so let’s move on! Oops! I have so much food stuck in my front teeth you could fill two gum wrappers with it! Don’t freak out. Do not eat as if your tooth is not affected. Granted, every person is different, but if I could give you this advice. If you brushed hard, use a medium brush, if you are a soft brush, good for you. If you were a hard brush like me, you’ll have to back off a bit!
Let me explain. I went through a lot of undoing pain in the first few weeks when my teeth came out. Before I got braces, I just scrubbed and scrubbed. However, the bottom tooth is the one that’s crooked, so I was really scrubbing the living daylights out of the MOVING tooth. Not a good thing.
Understand, your teeth are moving now, you wouldn’t clean a moving car with a 500lb jet so don’t do it to your teeth either. You need to be a little more sensitive to yourself.
Again, within the first two weeks, I wanted to take the braces back to the dentist. Now I can hardly feel there. Another thing is prayer. Seriously, pray and ask God for help at this time. I’m a Christian, so one day I just prayed this simple prayer, and I encourage you to pray it too: “Lord, teach me to eat with these braces on again.”
He heard my prayer and I started eating more with my back teeth. But first there was peace! God gave me peace to move forward and I felt moved by him to stop brushing so hard and eat more with my back teeth. I don’t ignore my front teeth and chew with them too, just switch them from main chewers to backup molars if that makes sense.
For me, the first three weeks can be summed up in one word: uncomfortable. Well, I can help you get through that too. I wanted to sit down in the evening and have my “Welch’s Grape Juice Bars” in the evenings. Oh no. No dice. They were history. They are history for now. Until I get the braces off. My teeth were too cold and they all clenched like they were getting ready for war or something.
I’m a popsicle nut, but I like ice cream almost as much as popsicles. Find out, ice cream has less fat than some juice bars! Anyway, I needed food that I could enjoy. Before I tell you about my Favorite Food with braces on, I want to encourage you by letting you into my 2nd place. I like to eat creamed corn fully cooked ribs because you can pull them off the bone with your fingers…
New love! Tapioca pudding! It’s actually an old love, but within the first few weeks it got the better of me! Also in terms of health: Picture Newtons! Amazingly soft food, healthy and fun to eat with suspenders. But again, you need to focus on eating with the back teeth, not the front teeth. Also put some food on your tongue and let it sit there for a minute and then move it to the back because you don’t want it clogging up your front wires!
Hmm… we’ll see. Other foods you might like: peas, creamed corn- man this will satisfy the braces. Chili too! Yes, Chili! Do you have your house near Farmer Boys? The best thing you can do for your little one after they get their braces is take them to Farmer Boys for a nice hot bowl of chili! Farmer Boys makes them with meat, not so much beans, and the meat is thin, so you get nutrition and you feel back to normal right away! Chili my friend! Chili!
Hmm..what else? Soft fruits are also good. Watermelon, cucumbers and orange slices make great braces.
But above all, remember. You have to cut everything! You can’t just sit down and eat a cheeseburger! You need to cut all the sandwiches into quarters or eighths, and make them all bite-sized. You can’t eat big ones anymore.
Watch out for nuts! They seem to be the hardest to eat with braces. You can eat them now and then, but let me teach you how. Does anyone like Chocolate Nut Grapes? Me too! However, you can NEVER, EVER eat these with your front teeth! You just can’t! Just eat them with the BACK of your teeth. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. I tried to eat one in the first three days and almost popped everything out of my mouth. Also, if you eat candy, just eat one! Believe me, wearing braces feels like four.
Second, eat slowly, enjoy and chew your food. Chewing has never been so important! Chew! Chew! Chew! Have! You’ll be glad you did.
Finally, you also need to relax and watch out for the wax! The doctor told me to put wax, wax, wax. I have a scientific mind and it told me I was just putting off the inevitable. The braces on the cheek have to tear and eventually make an indentation or bruise. So, after only using the wax for a day or two, I gave it up.
Then, of course, there was the usual pain, but for me after a day it started to pass. Yes, yes, the braces made a dent in my cheek and if I run my tongue under my cheek I can feel the scar tissue or whatever, but hey, my cheek has hardened and I don’t need any more wax. I have talked to people who waxed for months!
Ok, I promised to tell you my favorite food. It is vanilla, sorbet or strawberry ice cream. I only eat a scoop or two in the evening three or four times a week because it’s so soothing to my mouth. At first my mouth started to tighten a bit, but after doing it for a day or two, the tightening has lessened and is barely noticeable. Plus, I feel so good after ice cream because it’s so soothing to my mouth!
Follow up with your dentist again now, but I’m way ahead of schedule for my first braces checkup. I believe I can get my braces off in 8 months or less! And eats ice cream too!
My crooked truth is almost completely straightened and it’s been less than three months! Also, I use Damon Braces and they are very comfortable and are a brand new technology that works with the natural movement of your teeth and don’t require as much tightening as regular braces! If you are a parent buying braces, don’t forget that name!
Finally, if I can do it at 41, so can you. Don’t let braces control you. You have to control them. And one last word about flossing. You can’t floss every day. It’s too hard and you’ll get frustrated. Floss regularly, but most importantly, brush regularly and use plenty of mouthwash. It soothes your mouth! Mouthwash with peroxide! Colgate is great.
My dentist also recommends Colgate Total for best results when wearing braces. Let me tell you why I agree with him. I am a public school teacher of 20 years, and I once had a sixth grade student do an in-depth science experiment comparing Colgate Total, Crest, Agua-Fresh, and more. In short, Colgate Total was superior in all areas: fewer cavities, less tooth decay, and above all, more whitened teeth than any other brand.
That student was one of my smartest ever and his research was intense. I was actually the vice principal and science fair judge at the time. That said, please enjoy your new pants and remember, be their master before they master you!
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