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 popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! 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 — bagels, pizza crust, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, raw carrots, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel, taffy
- Hard foods — hard candy, ice
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, ribs
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy — cheese, yogurt, milkshakes and smoothies
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins
- Grains — pasta, rice
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, ground beef, lunch meats
- Seafood — any kind of fish or shellfish, crab cakes
- Vegetables — cooked vegetables, shredded raw vegetables
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, sliced fruit
- Treats — chocolate, ice cream, soft cookies, Jell-O, cakes and pies
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel tender or sore. To relieve discomfort, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish this solution for just a minute but do not swallow the saltwater.
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after swishing, you can also try taking a pain reliever such as aspirin, Tylenol or Advil. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they become used to the braces. We will give you wax to 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 to move them into the right position.
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 appliances. If part of your appliance comes off, be sure to bring it to the office with you at your next visit.
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 eliminate the discomfort.
Take Care of Your Appliances
Frequently damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances prescribed by us.
Playing Sports with Braces
You can still play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you play contact sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliances. Let us know if you need help fitting a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
In case of a sports injury, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice loose teeth or damage to your braces, please contact us right away.