Taking good care of braces can help prevent damage to the braces themselves and the teeth underneath them. Practicing basic orthodontic care and following our recommendations will keep your teeth and gums healthy while you’re wearing braces.
EATING WITH BRACES
After you get braces, some dietary adjustments need to be made to protect them and ensure that treatment goes smoothly. Certain foods can do major damage to braces by bending wires and pulling on the bracket cement.
Stay away from chewy, sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel, bagels, or beef jerky and hard, crunchy foods like popcorn, nuts, and ice chips. Avoid biting into foods like whole apples, corn on the cob, and carrots – instead, cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces before you eat them. Also avoid nail-biting and chewing on objects such as pen caps.
Luckily, there are still many tasty foods that you can still eat, even with braces! Softer foods are easier and more comfortable to consume with braces. This includes items such as pasta, rice, tender meats, seafood, steamed vegetables, soft cheeses, eggs, bananas, ice cream, and much more
SORENESS CAUSED FROM BRACES AND APPLIANCES
Some patients experience mild soreness or discomfort in their teeth and mouth for the first few days after they get braces. This is normal and the discomfort will fade as you adjust to the appliance. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for the first one to two weeks as they adjust to the braces. Please let us know if you would like some wax to put over your braces to lessen the tenderness.
To relieve any pain, we recommend dissolving a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle the solution for a couple of minutes and spit the solution out. If the pain is more severe and persists after rinsing, you can try taking a pain reliver.
LOOSE WIRES AND BANDS
The wires and bands on your braces are secured to the tooth temporarily with orthodontic cement. Because the cement is designed to be easily removed, components of your braces can become loose fairly easily. If this happens, please contact us to schedule an appointment so we can repair your appliance as soon as possible. If the loose component is causing pain or irritation to your mouth, cheeks, or teeth, use wax or a wet cotton ball to reduce the tenderness.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR APPLIANCES
Properly caring for your appliances ensures that your treatment will be as quick and efficient as possible. Ensure that your teeth move into the correct positions by following the instructions prescribed by your doctor and consistently wearing your rubber bands, headgear, or other necessary appliances.
PLAYING SPORTS WITH BRACES
Protecting your smile while playing sports is essential to completing your treatment plan. Many athletes worry that getting braces means giving up their sport, but that is not the case! We recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance from potential injury. With the use of a proper mouthguard, any contact sport can be played with braces. In case of a sports emergency, immediately check your mouth and braces for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office as soon as possible.