If you have a sense of humor, having braces can be a very fun experience for most orthodontic patients. In most cases, braces are only worn for 2 – 2 1/2 years, so why not have as much fun with them as you possibly can?
Braces by themselves will not move teeth. In order for braces to work, an orthodontic wire must be tightly secured directly into the braces, and it is this wire which will dictate the amount of force and the proper direction for the teeth to move. The wires are secured or ‘tied‘ directly into the braces with ‘orthodontic ties’. These ties can be metal, clear, or colored. Our office literally has all the colors in the rainbow and then some! Each time the patient comes in for an adjustment, we can change the color of the ties for our patient. Therefore some patients may wear their school colors one month, and then on their next visit they can opt to wear Halloween colors – or the colors of their favorite sports team, etc. Have fun! Change the look of your braces at every visit by changing the color of your ties at each visit!
Many patients have to wear rubber bands during their braces process. The rubber bands connect the top arch of teeth with the bottom arch of teeth. Rubber bands are removable, and are changed daily or after a meal. Unfortunately, the rubber bands do not come in different colors, and are usually opaque or clear in color. Fun can be had with rubber bands by playing with them like strings on a guitar and creating your own unique musical tunes. Also, if you laugh too hard, or open too wide when yawning, many patients have been known to inadvertently ‘shoot’ their rubber bands across the room at an unsuspecting victim! Be creative with your rubber bands, but just remember to have fun with them!
Kissing with Braces
Of course you can kiss someone with braces! Some of our patients have even told us that their partners grew to prefer the ‘braces kiss’! Just be sure that you clean your teeth and braces well – getting out all of that lettuce and broccoli. Contrary to popular belief, very few people have gotten their braces locked together when both parties were wearing braces – but you can try!
No matter how much fun you have with your braces, please DO NOT use your braces to crack open your Alaskan Snow Crab legs – while you may successfully reach that delicious crab meat, you will also knock your braces off of your teeth. DO NOT use your braces to open bottles of soda, beer, or any bottles or cans at all – bottle and can openers do a much better job without the discomfort of breaking your teeth or braces. DO NOT use braces to get better radio signals – just invest in an iPod or Pandora instead! DO NOT use your braces to scrape the frost off of your car windows – trust us, an ice scraper will do a much more efficient job! DO NOT use your braces to test out the stickiness of bubble gums, gummy candies, or chewy candies – take our word for it – the sticky stuff will always win, and eventually loosen your braces from the surfaces of your teeth.
So…….Have fun with your braces while they are on, but be mindful of the ‘No No’s’, and your two years of braces wear will be up before you know it! The good thing is that retainers can be nearly as fun – but that is the subject of another Winning Smiles story!