Life with Braces
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
Before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, such as chocolate, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your braces.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods: bagels, licorice, caramel, tootsie rolls
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, chips, ice
- Hard foods: nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Meats: well done steak, ribs, or meats on the bone
Foods you can eat with braces:
- Dairy: soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads: soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains: pasta, 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 and brownies without nuts, milkshake, cupcakes
Tenderness caused from braces and appliances
When you get your braces on, there is a small likelihood that your teeth and mouth will feel tender. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces placed. We promise your mouth will not be tender for long. For relief, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water, swish and gargle and rinse out this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes.
If discomfort persists you can take 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 additional wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
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 braces. If any part of your braces comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
Take care of your Braces
Damaged braces or other devices can increase the length of your treatment process. Be sure to take care of your braces. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, or other type of retainer prescribed by the doctors.
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. Let one of the doctors or staff know you need a mouthguard and they will be glad to help you find the right one.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your braces for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your braces have been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.