How to Survive Special Occasions with Orthodontic Braces
Mar 1, 2017
Orthodontic treatment with braces is the most acceptable method of correcting misalignment and malocclusion. If you have crooked, crowded, crossed or spaced-out teeth, the best solution is to bring it to proper alignment with braces.
Unfortunately, treatment with braces means having to endure a metal mouth for months to a few years. This gets in the way of one’s speech, smile, eating and life (so to speak). This hindrance is most especially felt in the midst of a special occasions. When a momentous event is along the way, patients with braces become anxious about the brackets in their teeth, and that’s fine.
Maintaining a Positive Attitude while wearing Braces
Wearing braces is a journey that requires time and patience, but maintaining a positive attitude throughout can make all the difference. First, remember that braces are a temporary phase in your life that will lead to a lifetime of beautiful smiles. By focusing on the result and the positive changes happening to your teeth, you can build self-confidence and overcome any insecurities you may have about wearing braces.
Embracing your braces can also serve as a conversation starter during special occasions. People may be curious about your orthodontic journey and asking questions can provide an opportunity to share your story and educate others about the benefits of braces. By being open and positive, you can turn potential discomfort into an empowering experience. Remember, your braces are a symbol of your commitment to oral health and self-improvement, so wear them proudly!
Lastly, maintaining a positive attitude will not only benefit your mental well-being but can also contribute to the success of your orthodontic treatment. Stress and negativity can hinder the progress of your braces, as clenching or grinding your teeth can impact their effectiveness. By staying positive and relaxed, you create an environment conducive to the alignment of your teeth, ensuring that your journey with braces is as smooth and efficient as possible.
Preparation for Special Occasions
Special occasions can be daunting when you’re wearing braces, but with a little preparation, you can face them with confidence.
The first step is to plan and make sure you have all the necessary supplies to keep your braces clean and comfortable. Pack a travel sized toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss so you can maintain good oral hygiene throughout the event. Consider carrying a small mirror and interdental brushes to clean hard to reach areas.
If you’re attending a formal event, take the time to coordinate your outfit with your braces. Choose clothing colors that complement the color of your braces or even choose accessories that match the bands on your braces. This way, you can turn your braces into a fashion statement and feel confident in your overall appearance.
Remember, your braces are a part of who you are, so embrace them and let them add a unique touch to your style.
Lastly, practice your smile in the mirror before the event. Confidence comes from familiarity, so the more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel when it’s time to smile for real. Experiment with different angles, poses, and facial expressions to find the most flattering way to highlight your beautiful smile. By preparing in advance, you’ll be ready to shine at any special occasion.
Choosing the right Foods and Drinks
When it comes to special occasions, choosing food and drinks plays a significant role. With braces, you need to be mindful of what you consume to avoid any potential damage or discomfort.
Sticky and hard foods should be avoided, as they can get stuck in your braces or cause brackets to break. Eat softer options like pasta, mashed potatoes, or cooked vegetables. These choices are not only braces-friendly but also tend to be less messy, reducing the chances of food getting lodged in your braces and causing embarrassment.
Be cautious with drinks that are high in sugar or contain artificial coloring. These can stain your teeth and the bands on your braces, making them more noticeable. Instead, drink water, sparkling water, or sugar free beverages. If you want to add some flavor, consider infusing your water with fruits or herbs for a refreshing twist.
If you’re unsure about the brace’s friendliness of a particular food or drink, it’s always best to consult with your orthodontist. Remember, special occasions are about enjoying the moment and spending time with loved ones, so don’t let your braces limit your ability to savor the experience.
By making smart choices, you can enjoy delicious food and drinks while keeping your braces safe and intact.
How to Handle Pain and Discomfort
While wearing braces, it’s common to experience some discomfort or even mild pain, especially after adjustments. However, you shouldn’t let this hinder your enjoyment of special occasions. Here are some ways to handle discomfort or pain during these events:
- Take over the counter pain relievers
If the pain is mild, you can take over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen before the event. This can help alleviate any discomfort and allow you to enjoy the occasion without distraction.
- Apply orthodontic wax
If a specific bracket or wire is causing irritation, you can apply orthodontic wax to create a barrier between your braces and the sensitive area of your mouth. This will help reduce friction and discomfort, allowing you to focus on the festivities.
- Rinse with warm saltwater
A warm saltwater rinse can provide temporary relief for sore gums or mouth sores. Simply dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and swish the solution around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. This natural remedy can soothe any discomfort and promote healing.
- Choose softer food options
If your braces are causing discomfort while chewing, opt for softer food options that require less effort. This will minimize the strain on your teeth and gums, allowing you to enjoy your meal without pain or discomfort.
- Take breaks when needed
If the discomfort becomes overwhelming, don’t hesitate to take short breaks throughout the event. Find a quiet spot where you can relax and give yourself a moment to rest. Remember, it’s important to prioritise your comfort and wellbeing.
By being proactive and prepared, you can minimise discomfort during special occasions and fully enjoy the festivities.
Remember, it’s just a temporary phase, and the result will be worth any temporary discomfort you may experience.
Dealing with Comments and Question about your Braces
While attending special occasions, you may encounter comments or questions about your braces from curious friends, family, or acquaintances. Here’s how to handle these situations with grace and confidence:
- Educate and share your journey
Use these moments as an opportunity to educate others about the benefits of braces and share your personal journey. Explain the positive impact braces have on oral health and how they contribute to a beautiful smile. By sharing your story, you can help dispel any misconceptions and inspire others who may be considering orthodontic treatment.
- Respond with humor
If you prefer a lighthearted approach, respond to comments or questions with a touch of humor. For example, if someone asks if you can eat certain foods with braces, you can playfully respond with, “I love eating porridge and soups!” This light hearted response shows confidence and can help diffuse any potential awkwardness.
- Express gratitude for their interest
Instead of being defensive, express gratitude for their interest and curiosity. Let them know that you appreciate their concern and are happy to answer any questions they may have. This positive and open attitude can foster meaningful conversations and help build connections with others.
- Redirect the conversation
If you’re not in the mood to discuss your braces or simply want to change the subject, gracefully redirect the conversation to another topic. Politely acknowledge their question or comment and then transition to a different aspect of the event or ask them about their own experiences. This shows that you value their input while gently steering the conversation in a different direction.
- Focus on the positives
Remember that comments or questions about your braces reflect others’ curiosity or interest, rather than a judgment on your appearance. Focus on the positive aspects of wearing braces and the progress you’re making. By shifting your mindset, you can maintain your confidence and enjoy the occasion without being affected by external opinions.
Navigating comments or questions about your braces during special occasions can be empowering when approached with confidence and a positive attitude.
Embrace the opportunity to share your story, educate others, and celebrate the progress you’re making on your journey to a beautiful smile.
Let’s look into tips for each occasion in the next section.
When travelling to near or far places, with braces, the first issue will be the food. Travelling will always involve a lot of eating, so be smart about food selection.
Another issue will be brackets getting dislodged during a trip. If this happens on a normal day, you will rush to an orthodontist and have the bracket reattached. As you are travelling, it will not be possible, so simply hold on to the dislodged components. If they were de-bonded from the teeth, but seem stable in the mouth, you may keep it there until you get back. Otherwise, you can try to remove it and keep it, so it may be re-bonded on your next visit.
Before leaving for a trip, be sure to visit the orthodontist so all loose components may be checked. Bring a box of wax with you so that you can cover any poking metal, to avoid incurring cuts and wounds.
Birthday Parties, Weddings, and Formals
The most significant problem with parties and formal is encountering the food and there’s just too much food to conquer. Most of the food is not braces-friendly and they will be a problem. Sweets, caramels, and candy floss are sticky and when they adhere to the brackets, can be quite hard to clean. They will just have to learn to choose their food wisely.
At the beginning of the treatment, the orthodontist should have provided guidelines about food to ignore and enjoy while undergoing treatment. It is really all about choosing the right food and knowing how to bite through things that will help a child survive.
Weddings and formal are a whole different issue because appearances matter. People make a true fuss in the preparations and the braces can get in the way.
If you cannot defer installing braces, until after such an occasion, know that you can get Incognitos which are truly invisible or Invisalign. You can smile beautifully without that metal mouth.
If you are into sports, having braces will be hard but it is possible. Braces can be an issue because a physical blow to the face can lead to cuts, tears and fractures which are made even worse with braces on the teeth.
You can protect your child from this by getting them a sport guard. Make sure that the mouth guard is fabricated especially for him, and not the ready-made ones, so that it fits comfortably and can provide proper cushion and protection.
If Invisalign is chosen as a treatment option, then the aligners can be easily removed making it a convenient choice for sporty people.
If you are going out on your first date, with braces, you will be overcome by a lot of thoughts: appearance, food getting stuck in their braces, and the myth of getting stuck together during a kiss. All these thoughts can be mortifying so try to ease their fears by giving them helpful tips.
First, disprove the myth because that is just ridiculous. Your mouth will not get stuck when you kiss.
Choose your food well so that they may be able to clean “debris” easily, in the middle of the date. If they need to bring an interdental cleaner, equip them with one. Otherwise, advise them to always flush their mouth with water, to help clean the surface.
Living with braces is not easy, no matter how old you are. As with any “obstacle” one needs to learn to look at the bigger picture. As a parent, it is your duty to make your child realise the purpose of the braces, so that he may embrace it. A beautiful and healthy-looking smile can do so much for a person.
From choosing the right accessories to complement your braces, eating the right foods, handling the discomfort, smiling confidently, and keeping a positive attitude, you will enjoy your special occasion like everyone else.