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
Don’t worry; you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, 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.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Gum – Bubble Gum, Bubble Yum, Trident, Freedent and Sugarless Gum
- Taffy – Laffy Taffy, Airheads, Starburst, JuJu Bees, Gummy Bears, Now & Laters, Jelly Beans, Licorice and Gummy Savers
- Caramels – caramel candies/apples, Tootsie Rolls, Raisins, Sugar Daddies, Marathon Bars, Snickers or Milk Duds
- Hard foods – Ice cubs, popcorn seeds, hard pretzels, hard taco shells/corn chips, nuts of any kind, hard bagels
- Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots, celery stalks
- Soda or drinks that contain a lot of sugar
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- 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
Tenderness 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. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve discomfort, we recommend a simple over the counter remedy such as Tylenol or Advil. If you are unsure on the dosing instructions, please contact your medical care provider.
If the discomfort is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a Advil or Tylenol if advised by a doctor and if there are no medical contraindications. 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 will give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen any irritation. If you need additional wax, please let us know!
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 by using tweezers to put the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax over the broken wire to relieve the discomfort.
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.
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. You will receive detailed instructions on proper brushing the day you get your braces on.
Please read through the short clips below for proper brushing and flossing instructions.
Playing Sports with Braces
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 in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. We will provide a special orthodontic mouthgaurd for you at no additional cost. In addition, you can choose the color and size that best you’re your needs.
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. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.