Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s crucial for you to know how to take care of your braces and teeth properly throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Don’t worry: You’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! Before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, however, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces
- Chewy foods — bagels, pretzels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- 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 drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without 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 without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness Caused by Braces and Appliances
When you get your braces, you may notice your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever!
To relieve the initial discomfort, we recommend over the counter headache medicine dosed appropriately for the patient’s body weight. Where more significant discomfort is present, toggling Advil and Tylenol is usually sufficient to manage soreness. It is 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.
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 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 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 fix the loose wire temporarily by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire carefully and gently 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 pain.
Take Care of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances will almost certainly prolong 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 wear the rubber bands, don’t break the dietary guidelines, and adhere to instructions for any other appliances as prescribed by our team.
Playing Sports with Braces
Game, set, and match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you 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. Chances are – we have one in the office that will fit you and provide sufficient protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to check your mouth and appliance immediately 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 salt water. Any lost or avulsed teeth should be stored in milk and brought to the patient’s dentist or oral surgeon immediately.