Life with Braces
How do you care for your braces now that you have them? It’s critical that you understand how to properly care for your braces during your orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Don’t sweat it, you’ll be back to munching popcorn and potato chips in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of your favorite sweets, you’ll need to be careful not to consume anything that might harm your new appliance.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
Foods you CAN eat:
- Dough items — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Dairy items— soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
You may find that your teeth and mouth feel uncomfortable or irritated when you first start to wear braces. This is very natural, and we assure you that it’s not going to hurt all the time. For these casual pangs of soreness, we propose dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water to ease discomfort. For a few minutes, swish and gargle this solution in your mouth (do not swallow the saltwater).
You can also try taking a pain killer if the discomfort is more intense and does not go away after gargling with saltwater. For one to two weeks, your lips, cheeks, and tongue may get sore as they adjust to the braces. We’d be pleased to give you some orthodontic wax to place on top of your braces to help with the soreness.
Don’t panic if your teeth start to feel loose; this is quite natural! To move your teeth into the proper position, your braces must first release them. Your teeth will no longer be loose once they have been repositioned.
Loose Wires and Bands
Your braces’ wires and bands may fall free. Please call us as soon as possible if this occurs so that we can inspect and repair your appliance. If any part of your appliance comes loose, keep it and bring it with you to the office.
You may temporarily adjust the loose wire by gently pushing it back into place using the back of a spoon or the clean eraser end of a pencil. Put wax or a damp cotton ball on the broken wire to ease the discomfort if the loose wire is irritating your lips or cheeks.
Take Care of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances might prolong your treatment time, so make sure to look after all of your appliances. Only by wearing the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other equipment suggested by your dentist can your teeth and jaw shift into their proper places on time.
Playing Sports with Braces
On your mark, get set, go! We have some exciting news for athletes: even if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you can still participate in sports! For our athletic patients, a mouthguard is recommended to protect their teeth and appliance. If you need assistance locating the correct mouthguard for the best protection, let your doctor know.
In the event of a sporting emergency, make sure to examine your mouth and appliance for any damage. Please call our office as soon as you discover any loose teeth or appliance damage. Applying wax or washing your mouth with warm salt water will help reduce the pain for the time being.