It’s that time of year again — Christmas! If you wear dental braces, there are a few things to be mindful of to ensure nothing spoils your holiday fun.
Be careful about what you eat
Food plays a big part during the holidays. You’ll be happy to learn that you can eat most things if you chop them into small pieces. However, if you can’t squash something between your fingers and thumb, STAY AWAY.
Chewing ice cubes, for example, is a bad idea. Here are some other foods to avoid:
- Fruit that is tough to bite, like apples.
- Chewy sweets, like bubble gum, toffee and fruit bursts.
- Anything with bones.
- Nuts, carrots and corn on the cob.
- Corn chips and bread or pizza crusts.
Take care of your braces
It’s easy to slip out of your usual oral hygiene routine during the holidays — put together a holiday hygiene kit that includes a travel toothbrush, dental floss and orthodontic wax.
It’s essential to brush your teeth two to three times a day for at least two minutes per session. Divide this time equally between the upper right and left sides and the lower left and right sides of your mouth. To ensure you don’t forget to care for your teeth, make sure that you brush soon after brekkie and dinner. Also, clean your teeth straight after eating for the last time at night — you probably won’t do a great job if you wait too long. Actually, if you can, try to avoid eating too late at night; during this time, saliva levels decrease, and acid levels increase in the mouth and just brushing isn’t enough to get rid of them.
It’s best to floss for a couple of minutes every time that you brush your teeth — either before or after. Floss is known as an interdental cleaner. It enables you to reach between your teeth and between your teeth and the tops of your gums. Superfloss and floss threaders are good, and you can get them from our clinic.
Elastics and aligners
Remember to wear your elastics and aligners. If you wear end up wearing them for fewer than 20 hours a day, add another day to the sequence.
Be careful with your retainer while swimming — especially at the beach. Rather than risking losing your retainer, put it safely in a box, and refit it as soon as you can.
We close at lunchtime on the 23rd of December and will be back on the 13th of January 2020.
How to handle a problem
If you’d just had your braces fitted, your orthodontist should have checked that the wires are turned out of the way. However, if a wire distorts, maybe you’ve eaten something hard or sticky, you should be able to push it back into place using the eraser end of a pencil. If that doesn’t work, use orthodontic wax to create a cushion to protect the side of your mouth. Silicon earplugs will also do the trick. Never attempt to cut the wire — you might swallow a piece and breathe it into your lungs. For serious issues over Christmas, please phone us for instructions on our answerphone.
From the team at Turner Lim Orthodontists, take care, and we wish you a very merry Xmas and a happy New Year.