Braces: A New Lifestyle
What you can expect:
Eating with Braces:
Congratulations on getting your braces! Now is the time for you to take proper care of them for optimum results. First you must learn how to take care of your braces and continue to do so throughout your entire orthodontic treatment. This includes taking special care to avoid foods that can damage your new appliances. But don't worry, you'll be eating your favorite snacks before long.
Foods to avoid with braces:
* Sticky foods - caramel candies, chewing gum
* Chewy foods - bagels, licorice
* Crunchy foods - popcorn, chips, ice
* 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 drink
* Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o 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 w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness caused from braces and appliances:
When you first get your braces, you may notice your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on. We promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, 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 salt water).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after 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 would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, just let us know!
It is perfectly normal for your teeth to begin feeling a little loose. So don't worry as your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands:
The wires and bands on your braces may become loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax 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 care them. 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.
Brushing Your Teeth with Braces:
When you have braces it's very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. Using a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste place bristles where gums and teeth meet. Brush each tooth in circular motions around the gum lines. Brush the lower teeth from the gum line up and the upper teeth from the gum line down. Don't forget to Brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue too! Now it's time to floss.
Flossing Your Teeth with Braces
Carefully thread unwaxed floss between braces and wire. Carefully floss around the braces, gum areas, and around each tooth.
Playing Sports with Braces
Great News! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you do however, it's recommended you wear a mouth guard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Just ask one of our Assistants for help in finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. To temporarily relieve discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.