LIFE WITH BRACES
Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important that you learn how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
In order to guarantee the best results, will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances. But don’t worry, once you complete your treatment, you will have a perfect smile and will be able to enjoy your favorite treats again.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness Caused by Braces and Appliances
When you get your new appliances, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise that this discomfort is temporary! To gain some relief, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).
If the pain is more severe and is not alleviated with rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We can offer wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t stress; this is normal! Your braces are loosening your teeth in order to shift them into the correct position. Once your teeth have been moved to the correct position, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
The wires and bands on your braces may become loose. If this happens, it is important to contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
While you wait for an appointment, you can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Take Care of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take the proper precautions to avoid damage and notify our office as soon as you notice any damage to your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.
Playing Sports with Braces
You can play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment. It is recommended that you wear a specially made mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard that will provide the best protection.
In case of a sports-related emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.