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Got Braces? Get them off Faster!

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Braces are a rite of passage in the lives of many young people. Orthodontia does a lot to improve the appearance of your smile, but properly aligned teeth are the ultimate goal of your time in braces.

Once you have arranged payment for the treatment with the coverage that you are eligible for through your health and dental insurance plan, the next step is making sure your braces are well cared for so you can get them off as soon as possible.

Teeth are not tools!

Even though humans have more tools at their disposal than other primates, we still share the instinct to use teeth and nails like our animal cousins. Everybody knows that teeth shouldn’t be used as tools, or for chewing anything other than food, and yet still we do it!

If you have braces, it’s especially important to make sure you only use your teeth for their intended purpose – eating! Using your teeth to open packages or to chew on pens or straws can almost guarantee extra trips to the orthodontist as your braces struggle against extra forces to align your teeth.

Avoid Hard or Sticky Foods

Caramel is great and popcorn is a wonderful snack, unless you’re wearing braces. Hard and sticky foods can damage your braces. They also harder likely clean off anything other than the smooth surface of your teeth. This leaves you susceptible to the double whammy of damage to your braces AND increased risk of tooth decay.

To give your teeth a bit of a break, even healthy foods that are hard to bite like carrots and apples should be cut into bite-sized pieces. This will prevent extra pressure on your braces while eating.

Use Equipment as Recommended

The length of time your braces need to stay on will vary based on the severity of your dental problems. You can help speed up the process, or make sure your efforts aren’t wasted, by following all of your orthodontist’s recommendations regarding additional appliances. This means wearing headgear for the prescribed number of hours every day. It also means wearing your retainer as recommended once your braces are off.

Keep Regular Cleaning Appointments

Though you will have a schedule of frequent appointments to the orthodontist to keep, it’s still important to see your dentist for your regularly scheduled cleaning appointments, too. Your health and dental insurance still provides coverage for regular dental care during orthodontic treatments.
Good dental hygiene will help your braces do the job of moving your teeth into the right position more quickly. The faster your braces can do the work they need to do, the less time you will need spend wearing them.

Health and dental insurance can go a long way to help offset the high cost of braces. If you are the parent of a child who may need braces later, it’s a good idea to check your coverage now. Some health and dental insurance plans have a waiting period for orthodontic treatment.

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