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 throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with braces:
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.
Food to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods like licorice, fantales
- Crunchy foods like popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods like caramel, nougat, chewing gum
- Foods that require biting into like corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Food you CAN eat with braces
- Dairy like soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads like soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains like pasta, soft cooked rice, porridge
- Meats and seafood like Any meat as long as there are no bones in it and it is soft cooked
- Vegetables like mashed or steamed vegetables
- Fruits like any fruit that is cut into small bite size pieces
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little uncomfortable. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in a cup 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 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, please let us know.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! There is a little fluid sack around the root of your teeth that is called a periodontal ligament - this widens to allow for your teeth to move. Your braces must first loosen this periodontal ligament 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 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 with your wax that will be given to you when you get your braces. 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 care of all 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
Game, Set, Match. We have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
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.
Be sure to drink a mouthful of water before drinking any sports drinks after a big game! When you get dehydrated your teeth do as well and will absorb the first thing you put into your mouth. If you drink a sports drink straight away your teeth will absorb all of the acid and sugar from that drink and this leads to tooth decay. Remember water is always best!