Now that you have your braces or appliance, 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, there are still many tasty treats that you can have with braces. However, you will need to take special care to avoid certain foods that could damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods - bagels, granola bars
- Crunchy foods - popcorn, hard chips
- Sticky foods - caramel candies, licorice, gummy bears, hard chewing gum
- Hard foods - nuts, hard candy, suckers, ice, raw vegetables
- Foods that require biting into - corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Limit drinks high in sugar such as pop, energy drinks, Gatorade, fruit juice
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 or shredded vegetables
- Fruits - applesauce, bananas, fruit cut into small pieces
- Treats - ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake, chocolate
- Sugar free sticks of chewing gum are okay and can actually decrease discomfort after an orthodontic adjustment. Ask us which gum we recommend when you visit us!
- Drinks- water, white milk, sugar free flavored drinks (watch out for diet pop, it has a lot of acid which causes cavities)
Soreness caused from braces and appliances
When you first get your braces or appliance, 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 tooth soreness, you should take a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for the first week. They will toughen up and become used to the braces. To relieve the pain on your cheeks and lips, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish this solution in your mouth for 10 to 30 seconds (do not swallow the saltwater). We will also provide you with wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you ever need more wax, please let us know!
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
Your braces, wires, and appliance can be broken off and become loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your braces/appliance. If a bracket comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix a loose 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 pain.
Take Care of your Appliances
Broken brackets and damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment, so be sure to take care of them. 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 in order to protect your teeth and your braces. We supply orthodontically friendly mouthgaurds to our patients! Please let us know if you need one.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your braces for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your brackets or wires have been damaged, please contact our office right away. If you have a cut on your lips or cheeks, you can relieve the discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.