So, having had orthodontics treatment for almost 4 years now, I consider myself quite the orthodontics expert!
Here are some tips/tricks that I’ve learned over the years:
- Orthodontists everywhere will hate me for saying this. You really don’t have to listen to what they say when they tell what to not eat! For example, on my “do-not-eat” list of foods, one of the things were M&M’s!! Of course, use common sense. Don’t try to eat a one-inch-thick piece of peppermint bark (see below post) with your braces. I encourage you to test around with your braces. I know two sisters who both have braces. One of the girls can eat carrot sticks without breaking her braces, while the other can’t eat crackers without something snapping!
- Always be truthful to your orthodontist! Close to the end of my orthodontic treatment, I was so eager to get rid of my braces, that when my orthodontist asked, “Do your teeth feel right?” I replied “Yes!” even though my back teeth still felt a little weird. They took the braces off, and my back teeth have been feeling weird ever since.
- Take care of your retainer. In the beginning when I first got my retainer, I had to wear them all the time for 3 months, my thought was, “Well, since it’ll be in my mouth all the time anyways, who cares if I wash it or not? I didn’t have to wash my braces all the time.” Well, as time went on, my retainers got really gunky. Believe me, I started washing them way more often after that!
It also probably didn’t help that I have white retainers.
- Never ever wrap your retainers unless you’re putting them in your case as well. I often wrap my retainers in tissues or napkins when I put them in my case to prevent them from rattling around. However, NEVER, and I say never….oh, and, did I mention NEVER? wrap your retainers in napkins and such, especially around food!! I myself have wrapped them up and forgotten about them (at someone else’s house! We had to go back and dig through their trash can.). One of my friends, who was on a missions trip, was eating in a cafeteria and forgot her case. She wrapped her retainers in a napkin (spoiler alert! :P) and left them on her tray. After she finished eating (and threw away her garbage), she went to do other stuff. A little while later, she suddenly remembered that she had wrapped her retainers! When she returned to the cafeteria, she found that her retainers were in the dumpster. Instead of going dumpster diving, she instead chose to make her parents shell out another $300 or so for new retainers. Although it seems like common sense right when you get your new retainers (“I promise to always take care of my retainers, they’re so expensive, and I won’t ever, EVER, lose them!)….you will, eventually, forget your case one day. Don’t be afraid to just leave them out. Most everybody nowadays have retainers (or will have them eventually). They’ll understand.
- SMILE!! Even though braces may look weird, smiling is always the best thing to wear. Don’t try to hide your braces by not smiling, because people often notice stuff more when you’re trying to hide something. It also shows a lot of self confidence.