Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them?
Eating with Braces
Before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, take note of a few foods you need to avoid that could damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice (they risk pulling a wire out of place)
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies when chewed, ice
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots (but this is an easy one to get around...just cut the corn off of the cob, and cut the apples and carrots into slices)
- POPCORN, as that little hull can become lodged under the gums, possibly causing an infection
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 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 and we promise that your mouth will not be sore forever!
To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater). If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever.
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 would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness, just let us know.
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.
Loose Brackets and Wires
Sometimes brackets may come loose, or a wire may come out of the bracket. If this happens, please contact us at your earliest convenience so that we can check and repair your the problem. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
To make the loose wire more comfortable until your repair appointment at the office, place wax over the portion of the wire causing irritation to your lips or cheek, 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, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.
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 to protect your teeth and your appliances. Let us know at your appointment if you need a mouthguard.
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.