Taking proper care of your braces throughout the entire treatment will greatly increase their effectiveness and perhaps shorten the duration of the treatment.
Eating with Braces
While you may be required to demonstrate some discipline for a time, you will be free to enjoy your favorite snacks and foods before you know it! Just keep in mind that the better care you take of your orthodontic appliances during treatment the sooner you will be back to eating the treats you love.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods such as bagels and licorice
- Crunchy foods such as popcorn, chips, and ice
- Sticky foods such as caramel and chewing gum
- Hard foods such as nuts and hard candy
- Foods that require biting into such as corn on the cob, apples, and carrots
Foods that you CAN east with braces:
- Dairy items such as soft cheese, pudding, and milk-based beverages
- Breads such as soft tortillas, pancakes, and muffins (with no nuts)
- Grains such as pasta and soft-cooked rice
- Meats and Poultry such as soft-cooked chicken, meatballs, and lunch meats
- Seafood such as tuna, salmon, and crab cakes
- Vegetables such as mashed potatoes, streamed spinach, and beans
- Fruits such as applesauce, bananas, and fruit juice
- Treats such as ice cream (again, no nuts!), milkshakes, Jell-O, and soft cake
Soreness caused from Braces and Appliances
In the first few days after you get your braces you will likely feel a bit of tenderness and soreness in your mouth and teeth. This is to be expected, and the good news is that your mouth will not feel like this forever! You can find some relief by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Simply swish and gargle the water for a couple of minutes without, of course, swallowing the water.
If the rinsing alone does not ease the pain, you may need to try a pain reliever. In the beginning, you may also find that your lips, cheeks, and tongue are irritated as they become adjusted to the braces. We can provide wax for you to place over your braces that should lessen the discomfort.
You can also expect for your teeth to feel a little loose after you first get your braces. Part of the treatment plan is for the braces to slightly loosen your teeth in order to straighten them into the best position. Once your teeth are in their proper place, they will not continue to be loose.
Loose wires and bands
It is a possibility that your wires and bands could come loose. In this event, contact us as soon as you can in order for us to evaluate and repair the orthodontic appliance. If any pieces come off, make sure to bring it in to the office with you.
It is possible for you to perform a temporary fix by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to gently ease the wire back into place. If the loose wire is irritating your lips or cheeks while you are waiting to get in to the office, place wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire for temporary relief from the irritation.
Take Care of your Appliances
You will want to work hard to take care of your orthodontic appliances since a damaged appliance may increase the duration of your treatment. The consistent pressure of the appliance on your teeth is what moves them into proper alignment.
Playing Sports with Braces
During your treatment, it is perfectly fine for you to continue in your athletic activities. We definitely recommend that you wear a mouth guard while playing sports. This is one of those situations where it is worth finding the best mouth guard available for maximum protection.
If you are involved in a sports collision, you will want to check your braces for any damage. Contact us immediately if you notice loose teeth or damage to your braces. You can find temporary relief from pain and irritation by rinsing with warm saltwater or by applying wax to your braces.
BRUSHING and FLOSSING
While it is always important to brush and floss regularly, it is EXTRA important when you are wearing braces. This ought to be done after every meal in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums during your treatment. Ask one of our staff members to provide assistance in helping you find the best toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss for your situation.