Braces are the gateway to a healthier, straighter smile. But they can take some getting used to, especially if your mouth is an important part of your hobbies, such as playing an instrument, participating in sports, or getting creative in the kitchen. Check out these safe and helpful ways to enjoy your favorite activities with braces!
Musicians’ tips for braces
Since braces can change how the teeth, lips, and cheeks sit, braces most affect people who play wind instruments. If braces irritate the lips and cheeks, place orthodontic wax over the brackets. Early on in your treatment, braces may cause discomfort while playing. Practice for shorter periods at first and work your way up to your typical practice length.
After getting braces, brass players should practice adjusting their embouchure (the position of the lips and mouth) until the position feels natural with their new appliances. It may be difficult at first to create the same sound or wind power as before, but don’t be discouraged! The more you practice, the quicker you adapt. For woodwind players, new braces shouldn’t impact your playing, but increased saliva production may occur. Make sure to clean out your instrument thoroughly and let your reeds dry between playing.
Athletic safety for braces
Sports teach cooperation, hard work, and the value of physical fitness. However, sports with high amounts of contact and fast-flying balls or pucks can be dangerous for smiles. All athletes should wear the proper protection for their sport, such as helmets and face masks, as well as mouthguards to protect their teeth. For athletes with braces, traditional mouthguards can negate orthodontic treatment. Ask your orthodontist about a custom-fit mouthguard that you can wear over braces to protect teeth and keep your treatment on track!
Cooking and baking foods for braces
Certain foods are off-limits with braces, but that doesn’t mean that patients who love cooking or baking have to give up their hobby! Just make sure to avoid sticky, chewy, crunchy foods or ones that contain hard chunks. Muffins, banana bread, apple crumble, sponge cake, and soft oatmeal cookies are all yummy, safe-to-eat choices for bakers. Remember that sugar can stick to teeth and lead to cavities, so brush well after having a sweet treat!
The easiest way to enjoy cooking with braces is to look online for braces-friendly recipes, plan your meals ahead of time, and head to the grocery store prepared with a list. Veggies are healthy, colorful additions to a meal, but eating crunchy, raw vegetables with braces can be painful. Sauté or steam your vegetables to soften them. For protein, remember that tough, chewy, well-done meat can be challenging to eat with braces. Choose boneless meats and enjoy them shredded, pre-cut into small pieces, or prepared in a Crock-Pot for a softer texture. Tofu is also a great soft meat substitute.
If you have any more questions about braces and your favorite activity, schedule a free consultation appointment with us today to start your path to a straighter smile!