Most people know that chewing gum and braces don’t mix, but there are several other bad habits a patient with new braces should know about. Some of them are bad habits in general and should be avoided even after having the braces removed.

Eating Ice

While it may be tempting to eat the ice after having a nice cold drink, especially on a hot day, it’s a bad idea. Ice is cold and hard, and both attributes make it bad for braces and teeth. Ice can damage wires and brackets, and it can cause pain in teeth while eating or drinking.

Biting Nails

Not only does this habit make one’s nails less than aesthetically pleasing, it can also bend wires or break brackets. Biting nails can also damage the teeth themselves.

It stresses them and can force them out of alignment, which defeats the purpose of getting braces in the first place. Also, parts of the nail can break off and get trapped between teeth or brackets.

Not Wearing a Mouth Guard

People who play sports, especially contact sports like football, need to wear a mouth guard while playing. Any sport where there’s a risk of getting a ball, foot, elbow, etc. in the face requires a mouth guard.

Wearing a mouth guard will prevent athletes from breaking their braces or teeth while indulging in their favorite sport.

Opening Things with Teeth

 It’s true that some packages are ridiculously difficult and frustrating to open, especially when they come with lots of plastic. It’s also true that using teeth to open things can chip them. Opening packages with one’s teeth while wearing braces can also cause damage.

Drinking Soda

Soda is both acidic and sweet, which means it is very bad for teeth. The acid in soda can eat away at the enamel on teeth. Braces provide a lot of pockets that can hide plaque and other build-up – and soda can contribute to that.

In general, it’s best to avoid acidic and sugary drinks of any type and to brush one’s teeth thoroughly.

Chewing On Things That Aren’t Food 

Some people chew on things like pens when stressed. As with biting nails, such habits can damage the braces. It can also make them slide off or simply not work as well.

Smoking

In addition to all of the other bad things smoking does to a person’s health, it also discolors teeth. Cigarettes can turn the teeth a yellowish-brown color.

Braces exacerbate the matter by trapping the particles that discolor teeth and thus giving them more time to do so. Smoking can also cause a gum disease called gingivitis.

Avoid Sticky Foods

Things like taffy, gum and caramel can do horrible things to braces, like bending wires or breaking off a bracket. They can also simply get stuck all over the place. A piece of gum that gets lodged somewhere eventually attracts a lot of the bacteria that cause cavities.

With locations in Niceville and Fort Walton Beach, the office of Dr. Brodie Bowman is here to help you every step of the way in your braces journey, from deciding which kind are right for you to educating patients on what to avoid while wearing them.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment to learn more about caring for your braces.