The Jolly Rancher Incident and Other Don’ts: Braces Tips from Alora, 15

When Alora, a vibrant 15-year-old and patient of Swihart Orthodontics, was relatively new to wearing braces, she had a little mishap that highlights one of the essential “don’ts” for anyone with braces. There she was, having a pretty typical teen-with-braces experience: excitement about changing band colors, adjusting to new dental routines, and the anticipation of an aligned, braces-free smile.

However, her curiosity about whether she could still enjoy her favorite hard candy led to what we now call The Jolly Rancher Incident. “I was told not to eat Jolly Ranchers, or any sticky, gummy candies,” Alora recalls. Ignoring this advice just once (once!), she faced the immediate consequence of a broken bracket. This incident was a turning point for her, in which she realized that some rules–especially when it comes to orthodontic care–are best followed to the letter. “It just wasn’t worth it,” she concluded.

Tips on What Not to Do with Braces

Alora’s story underscores a broader list of orthodontic don’ts that every braces wearer should keep in mind. Here are our top don’t-do-it-with-braces tips:

  • Hard and sticky foods: As Alora discovered, hard, sticky, and chewy foods can damage braces. This includes not only candies but also items like popcorn, nuts, and hard-crusted bread.
  • Slacking on hygiene: Braces require meticulous cleaning to prevent food particles from getting trapped. It’s midnight, you’ve had a long day and can’t stay vertical for one minute longer…but you better dig deep and brush those teeth! Skipping a brush or floss can lead to plaque buildup and cavities around your brackets.
  • Missing appointments: Regular checkups are crucial for adjustments and monitoring progress. Missing appointments can prolong treatment time.
  • DIY adjustments: Maybe you didn’t even think of this, but someone out there has, and that’s why we have to say it! Trying to adjust braces at home can lead to more harm than good. Always consult with your orthodontist for any discomfort or issues.
  • Neglecting retainer use: Once your braces come off, yes, you really do have to wear retainers for good to help maintain your new smile. Not wearing them as prescribed can lead to teeth shifting back to their original positions.

A Smile Worth the Wait

Despite the challenges, including her little sister getting her braces off first, Alora’s journey with Swihart Orthodontics was filled with support, guidance, and ultimately, success. “It was definitely worth having braces. I love my smile now, a little bit more than I loved it before,” she beams.

Ready for a Smile Transformation?

Swihart Orthodontics is here to guide you through every step of your orthodontic journey, ensuring a seamless experience and a smile you’ll love. Book a consultation to learn more about how we can help you or your child achieve the perfect smile.

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