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 gummy bears and snacking on hard candy again in no time! For the first few days you will want to eat softer foods and avoid foods that are difficult to chew while your teeth are sore. 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:
- Chewy foods - taffy, licorice
- Crunchy foods - ice, popcorn kernels, hard corn chips (thin chips are ok)
- Sticky foods - caramel candies
- Hard foods - nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into - corn on the cob, apples, carrots (unless cut in small pieces)
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, sugar free gum
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 for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, you can try taking a pain reliever such as ibuprofen. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustom to the braces. Irritated cheeks as well as mouth sores can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously and spit out after rinsing. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you 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
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 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
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.
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 have mouthguards that you can purchase at our cost for your convenience.
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 and your normal pain medication such as Ibuprofen if needed.