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. An assistant will review with you all you need to know about braces, archwires, brushing, foods and emergencies.
Eating with Braces
While your teeth are getting used to your braces it is helpful to eat softer foods that don't need a lot of chewing. Smaller bite size pieces, cutting or tearing up food before you place it in your mouth will be helpful when eating with braces.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Sticky foods — gum, caramel, airheads, taffy starburst, etc.
- Crunchy foods — nuts, ice, hard granola bars, thick hard pretzels
- Breads-hard crusty breads like pizza crust, calzones, etc
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies, ice
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, yougurt, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft breads, bagels, english muffins
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — all types
- Vegetables — most cooked vegetables are easier to eat. Careful with the raw ones-cut them into small bite size pieces first
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, berries, cut up pieces of fruit
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. 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. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever!
To relieve the soreness caused by the braces rubbing against your cheeks, we recommend swishing with warm salt water or Peroxyl rinses. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow! ). This will help the inside of your lips and cheeks become use to the braces.
We will also show you how to use wax to put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some more wax, please let us know.
For tenderness of the teeth, Tylenol, Advil or whatever you use for aches and pains in your household.
Loose Teeth and Spaces
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
As your teeth begin to move, you may notice spaces occuring where there were none before. Don't worry, as this is a part of the process of moving teeth. Sometimes space needs to be created in order to move teeth properly
Loose Brackets (Braces) and Poking Wires
Due to changes in the bite as the teeth correct, eating hard foods, or biting on your mouthguard, brackets can come loose. If this happens, please contact our office. There is a lot of movement going on in your mouth and 1 or 2 loose braces will not affect the entire mouth. If any braces comes off, be sure to save and bring them to the office with you.
As teeth correct, the arch wires may become slightly long in the back and irritate the cheek. You can use wax to keep yourself comfortable until you are able to come in.
Sometimes we may add Bite Blocks to a few of your teeth to temporarily keep your teeth from biting together all the way. This allows for your teeth to have a place to rest without hitting on your lower braces.
Take Care of Your Braces
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, 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. We have mouthguards available for you here at our office.
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.