There are so many reasons to seek the care of an orthodontist. Maybe you would like to have some simple cosmetic work performed or perhaps you have a more serious condition that is negatively impacting your life or health.

patient checks into orthodontist office

Whatever the cause, finding an orthodontist is just the beginning and you will soon find yourself tending to a long list of new tasks in order to get the most out of your treatment. However, there are also some things you will need to avoid in order to ensure the success of your orthodontic treatment.

A lack of good oral hygiene.

Probably the biggest factor in successful orthodontic treatments, a lack of good oral hygiene has the potential to ruin the plans of your provider. Failing to routinely and thoroughly brush your teeth, floss, and see to the removal of plaque, will lead to decay, cavities, and gum disease.

Not reporting problems to your orthodontist.

If something happens to any of your orthodontic hardwear, including the various parts of braces, Invisalign trays, and headgear, it will serve you best to see your orthodontist right away to have it repaired. Failing to report even a seemingly minor issue has the potential to set your treatment back and lead to higher costs.

The consumption of harmful foods.

Before you are even equipped with your new braces or aligner trays, your orthodontist will want to be sure that you know which foods and drinks to avoid during your treatment. Sugary foods and drinks, chewing gum, and carbonated beverages can cause irreversible damage. Hard foods such as ice and nuts will break the workings of your hardware.

Failure to maintain a healthy diet.

In addition to avoiding certain foods, maintaining a healthy diet is a key ingredient in protecting your oral health during orthodontic treatments. For example, the prevention of tooth decay relies heavily on calcium, which in turn needs vitamin D to be fully utilized by your body. Low levels of iron, and vitamins B3, B12, B2, and C, will cause sores, bleeding gums, and loose teeth.

Using your teeth for anything other than eating.

At no time should anyone ever use their teeth for anything other than eating. However, the use of your teeth as tools while wearing braces, headgear, or Invisalign trays has the potential to cause costly damage to both your teeth and the hardware itself. Doing so can also lead to lengthy setbacks in your treatment because the devices won’t be able to work as intended.

Playing sports without proper protection.

Engaging in contact sports or other dangerous activities can also be detrimental to the health of your teeth, gums, and orthodontic hardware. Care must be taken to use proper protection such as customized mouthguards to prevent any damage that may be caused by an accidental impact around your mouth.

Grinding your teeth.

You may not even be aware that you grind your teeth. Luckily, your orthodontist will easily spot the signs of this harmful activity and offers solutions to help you prevent the damage it can cause. It can also be a good idea to ask your spouse if they have ever seen you grind your teeth during the day or while you are sleeping.

Not following at-home instructions.

Failure to comply with the instructions of your orthodontist will only prove harmful to your treatment and oral health in the long run. The list of tasks involved with having braces, aligners, or headgear may seem never-ending, but tending to those tasks will keep the treatment itself from being a never-ending process.

Playing wind-instruments without approval.

Even if you have been playing a wind instrument for many years, following your provider’s instructions and timeline for practicing and performing is key to preventing setbacks during your treatment. At no time should you cease playing altogether, but you must take it easy as playing a wind instrument can lead to increased pain after the installation of new braces.

It may seem like a lot to take in, but learning how to care for your mouth and prevent problems during your orthodontic treatment is well-worth the short time it takes to learn. After all, you certainly wouldn’t want to increase the time it will take to repair problems and get the beautiful smile for which you are hoping.