5 Lifestyle Changes to Make During Your Orthodontic Treatment for Maximum Effectiveness

You have finally decided to get orthodontic treatment! Congratulations! Now the next decision is what type of braces or other orthodontic appliances you will use, along with considering what lifestyle changes need to be made during your treatment. It can seem overwhelming but it’s important to know how to maximize your orthodontic treatment’s effectiveness.

Remember, braces will have an impact on your work, your social life, and your activities. But, we’ve got you covered! 

In this article, first, we will examine some important factors to consider as you decide the type of braces that best fit your lifestyle. Then, we break down five lifestyle changes to make during orthodontic treatment to help ensure your results are as good as possible.

Choosing the Best Orthodontic Device for You

Before you start thinking about specific lifestyle changes you’ll need to make during orthodontic treatment, it’s very important to choose the type of orthodontic appliance that best fits your life.

There are many choices available today when deciding what kind of braces best meet your needs. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best type for your lifestyle and orthodontic needs:

How Much Oral Care and Maintenance Is Needed During Treatment?

A solid oral hygiene program is crucial with any orthodontic treatment. It’s important to understand the care requirements of the various orthodontic devices you are considering to ensure successful treatment. Here are some of these requirements for the most common devices available:

Routine Care with Braces

Traditional braces require careful cleaning techniques to keep food particles from collecting around brackets and wires. This is true no matter what kind of braces you end up using: metal, ceramic, or lingual. Bits of food left in the mouth and around teeth will turn to plaque and can lead to gum disease. This has negative consequences not only on your oral health but can lead to systemic diseases like heart disease and others.

If you choose removable aligners like Invisalign, you can maintain your current oral hygiene routine and then add in the step of regularly cleaning the aligners. 

Aligners must be removed for proper cleaning, which involves using a gentle cleaner in the morning, before bedtime, and after each meal. This is a factor in deciding which type of braces best suit you and your lifestyle. If you know you wouldn’t be good at remembering to consistently remove (or re-insert) the aligners to clean them or to eat, this type of braces probably isn’t the best choice for you.

Regular appointments with your dentist and your orthodontist are even more important while you wear braces. Your oral health team will check to make sure there aren’t cavities or other issues developing. If there are, those issues can be corrected as soon as possible so there are no long-lasting effects on your health. For this reason, some dentists suggest you come in more frequently when you have braces. 

These are things to keep in mind about caring for each type of braces. Now, what about how braces affect your professional life and lifestyle? Read on!

5 Lifestyle Changes for Effective Orthodontic Treatment

There is no template for how your braces will fit into your lifestyle. Everyone is unique, but here are some general suggestions for how to maximize orthodontic treatment effectiveness:

#1 – Professional Situations with Orthodontics

The good thing is, these days, you aren’t stuck with easily noticeable metal braces as your only solution for straight teeth. There are much more discreet types of treatment available today.

If you are a busy professional with lots of public interaction, you may want to consider nearly invisible aligners like Invisalign. Another choice is lingual braces (braces placed on the back of your teeth instead of the front) which are completely invisible. Either of these choices will make you less self-conscious about wearing braces as you go about your normal workday.  

#2 – Speech Adjustments

If your work or other daily obligations require you to speak to others frequently, there are some speech adjustments to consider. Lingual braces often affect speech longer than any other type of braces. Keep in mind that all braces have some adjustment time as you learn to speak with something foreign in your mouth, but it will get easier the more you practice. The adjustment time varies from person to person, but it needs to be considered as you decide which type of braces to use.

#3 – Socializing and Dining Out

For people who dine out often, either socially or professionally, you will need to remove aligners as you eat your meals. Will this be uncomfortable for you when you are with clients or co-workers? Consider how you will do that in a public setting. Aligners allow you to eat whatever you want, but you do have to remove them to eat all those great foods!

Traditional braces stay put but you can’t eat all foods. You will have to avoid hard, crunchy foods and anything sticky. Consider if you will be able to refuse foods that you love while you wear metal, ceramic, or lingual braces.

Source: Oral-B

#4 – Comfort During Long Work Hours

Your job or daily responsibilities may require long hours. This should influence which braces you choose. The use of clear aligners may be a perfect choice for you because you will have no hardware secured in your mouth. You can remove the aligners for short periods if even to simply brush them during the day. This gives you a short break, whereas traditional braces can’t be removed for any reason. 

#5 – Braces and Sports

Sports are a big part of life for many people, both young and old. If that describes you, it’s a consideration when choosing and wearing braces. Traditional braces require you to use a mouthguard during play to protect the braces and your mouth.

A direct hit to your face can be very dangerous. Your braces can be forced into the soft tissues of your mouth, causing damage to the braces, your teeth, and the inside of your mouth.

As for clear aligners, they will need to be removed during sports activities. The aligners won’t provide enough protection to your teeth and mouth, so an orthodontic mouthguard will still need to be used. Then, the aligners are put back in when you’re done playing. 

Ensure That Your Lifestyle & Orthodontic Treatment Work Together for the Best Results

The decision to have your teeth straightened is a huge step forward in living the best life you can. The life you lead every day can influence which type of braces you choose. And understanding the lifestyle changes you’ll need to make during your treatment with those braces will help maximize its effectiveness. You want your treatment to be the best it can be while still living your life with as little interference as possible. 

A business person with lots of public interaction might focus on the most discreet choice while an athlete might put more weight on durability and comfort. As you make this decision, the factors discussed in this article will help.

The team here at Reed & Sahlaney Orthodontics specializes in a variety of effective orthodontic treatments for all ages and will help you every step of the way to ensure that your treatment goes smoothly, leaving you with the beautiful, straight smile you deserve.

Set up your free consultation today!