While their design has changed over time, braces have been correcting dental alignment issues for nearly 300 years. There’s even evidence that they have a longer history than that, going as far back as ancient Egypt!
Invented by NASA in 1959, the traditional metal braces we know today rely on flexible wires held in place by brackets bonded to the surfaces of your teeth. They’re one of the best-known and most effective treatments for straightening the teeth of patients of all ages. Approximately 4 million people are wearing them at any given time, 25% of whom are adults.
The Pros and Cons of Traditional Braces
Traditional metal braces come with some significant benefits:
- They can treat a wide range of alignment issues, including more severe cases
- They’re affordable, and many dental insurance plans that cover orthodontic care offer at least some coverage
- In addition to straightening your teeth, they can improve your smile, oral health, chewing, and speech
- Being made of metal, they won’t chip or crack
There are also a few downsides to keep in mind:
- Their shiny metal color makes them visible in your mouth (which can cause some self-consciousness)
- They can be painful (after adjustments, brackets can irritate your cheeks and lips)
- They remain on your teeth 24/7, even while eating
- You have to avoid certain foods during treatment
- Brackets can come loose, or wires can break
4 Helpful Tips To Get Food Out of Braces
Even if you are far more careful with what you eat while wearing your Las Vegas braces, you may run into a situation in which you get food stuck. That can result in some embarrassment. In some situations, it may also cause some discomfort. Here are a few things you can do to get food out of braces:
1. Drink Water
Sometimes, drinking some water, or swishing it around in your mouth, is enough to dislodge any food stuck in your braces.
You can often remove trapped food from your braces using a length of dental floss. Tying a knot in it can give you a little extra assistance. If necessary, use a floss threader to help you get started.
3. Try an Interproximal Brush
An interproximal brush is a long, thin brush that helps clean between teeth. It can also be an effective tool for getting food out of braces. If you don’t have one, a toothpick will work in a pinch, too. Take care to avoid poking and injuring your gums, though.
4. If All Else Fails, Contact Your Las Vegas Orthodontist
If you still can’t get the food out of your braces, contact your orthodontist, especially if you’re in pain. A quick appointment can help you get the food out, protecting you from potential cavities and gum disease.
Avoid Getting Food Stuck In Braces
Getting food stuck in your braces happens. Fortunately, in most cases, you can dislodge it on your own with a little help from some floss or an interproximal brush. You can also reduce your risk of getting food lodged in your braces with the following measures:
- Avoid hard, crunchy, sticky, and chewy foods
- Drink water with your meals
- Brush after every meal
- Cut food into smaller pieces and eat slowly
Do you need additional tips or advice regarding what foods to avoid while wearing braces, protecting your braces, and maintaining your oral health during treatment? Hansen Orthodontics is here to help. Contact us today for more information.