LIFE WITH BRACES
Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces for the duration of your orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Our goal is to help get you back enjoying your favorite foods and snacks in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
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 from Braces and Appliances
If you find that you experience tenderness or soreness when you first get braces, this is normal and only temporary.
More severe pain may warrant 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 would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
Your teeth may feel a little loose after receiving your braces. This is normal, because your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will firm right back up.
Loose Wires and Bands
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please 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.
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 until we can correct the issue.
Take Care of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so proper care can help minimize the amount of time you need to invest before acquiring your new happy, healthy smile. 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
Athletic activity is great for all ages, and we strongly encourage our patients to get out there and play, even if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.
As always, in case of a sports 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 saltwater.