Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? You have probably heard many rumors from friends with braces, and we want you to know what our office believes to be in your best interest. Our policies are rather simple and logical, but it’s important for you to know what we expect, because following our advice will help you succeed with fewer problems and finish your treatment sooner.
Eating with Braces
You will need to be careful so the appliances on your teeth are not damaged. Our recommendations are base on years of experience and designed to assure that your treatment proceeds as quickly as possible and with fewer unwanted additional appointments throughout your care.
Foods to avoid with braces
Anything hard, sticky or chewy and sugars are not permitted
- Hard foods — nuts, ice, hard candy
- Sticky foods — candy, chewing gum, gummy bears, etc.
- Chewy foods — bagels, bread or pizza crusts, licorice, jerky, candy
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, whole apples, raw carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — cooked meats, meatballs, hamburger, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — anything cooked and/or soft
- Fruits — cut into small pieces
Remember, the key is to avoid potentially damaging foods that are hard, sticky, chewy, and consist of sugars.
Soreness Caused by Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for new patients and usually lasts only two or three days. If necessary, some medication such as Tylenol or Motrin will relieve mild tooth soreness.
It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated a short time until they become used to the braces. We provide you with soft wax you can apply over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
If your teeth begin to feel a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them. This unusual feeling will go away soon and the teeth are now moving!
Loose Wires and Brackets
Your orthodontic appliance is made of several parts and although strong enough to straighten your teeth, is fragile and require some special care by YOU, the patient. Infrequently, an archwire or band on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so we can check and repair it. 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 offending 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 discomfort.
Take Care of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if all parts of your appliance are working as designed. Your cooperation is essential to achieving the treatment goals and completing your care.
Game, set, and 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 us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to check your mouth and your appliance immediately for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax. Although true orthodontic emergencies are rare, instances of significant trauma are the most frequent ones requiring attention and respond better if evaluated ASAP, so call us … and please be careful when wearing braces!
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 treatment. Use a soft brush, fluoride toothpaste, and dental floss. Please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.