Your official guide to everything about braces
About to get braces for the first time? Finally, those perfect pearly whites are in your future. You might be scared of getting them on or nervous about taking care of them—but don't sweat it. We've compiled a list of tips and tricks that every girl should know before the big day at the orthodontist.
Getting the braces
The day is finally here! Your orthodontist will probably take pictures and create a mold of your teeth before you begin. The process of actually getting the braces put on doesn't cause too much pain or discomfort. When the wire is threaded through the brackets, you might experience some soreness that can last up to a week.
Tip: Take *lots* of deep breaths and keep Ibuprofen on hand for when the pain is too much.
For most braces, you're going to need to get your wires changed every month. And while the experience itself is not something you need to worry about, your mouth might be sore when the wires are clipped. However, there is a fun part to experience: Every time you get your wires changed, you get the option to switch up the color of your braces!
Tip: Choose darker colors if you want to make your teeth appear whiter (and stay away from greens and yellows, which can look like bits of food stuck in your smile).
When you have braces, it's extra important to have good dental hygiene. Brushing your teeth multiple times a day (we're talking three times or more) is a good way to keep your teeth clean. Having braces makes brushing so much more difficult, but it's important to maintain your dental hygiene.
Tip: Consider a Waterpik (we like this one) to help with flossing.
Foods to avoid
You've probably heard that certain foods are nearly impossible to eat with braces. Popcorn, corn on the cob, Laffy Taffy and gum are foods you'll want to avoid once you get the wires on.
Tip: if you want to eat fruits like apples, make sure to cut them into smaller pieces before taking a bite.
Depending on why you got braces, you may or may not need rubber bands. Thankfully, taking care of rubber bands is much simpler than taking care of your braces. Every 24 hours, you can throw away the previous day's bands and swap those out for fresh ones. You can also change the bands more often if necessary. When you first get them, you might experience some soreness.
Tip: Always ask for extra rubber band bags from your orthodontist's office, especially if you're going on vacation.
Most orthodontist offices will give you orthodontic wax, which acts as a barrier between the braces and your gums. To keep those pearly whites clean, use a proxabrush to get in-between teeth. Use at least once a day and change brushes up to twice a week. You can find these brushes at many stores or order these on Amazon.
Tip: If you're going out to eat, make sure to pop a few of these in your purse.
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Getting braces soon? Tell us about your experience on Twitter @girlslifemag!
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