Now that you have your braces on, how do you best care for them? It’s important to take proper care of your braces throughout treatment to ensure the process is as quick, easy, and comfortable as possible for you.
Eating With Braces
Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, it’s best to stick to soft foods to help your mouth adjust to your new appliances. You will also need to be careful about what foods you enjoy throughout treatment to prevent any damage or breakage from occurring.
Foods To Avoid
- Crunchy foods – Hard taco shells, nuts, and popcorn are hard on your teeth and could get stuck in your brackets.
- Sticky foods – Caramels, gum, and taffy are especially harmful to braces.
- Hard foods – Certain raw veggies, uncut apples, corn on the cob, and ice can break brackets and wires.
- Chewy foods – Any foods that need to be torn with your teeth, such as licorice, bagels, and hard rolls, should be avoided.
While it may seem like you have to avoid many of your favorite foods during treatment, there are still plenty of other options for you.
Foods You Can Eat
- Fruits – Applesauce, bananas, cut apples
- Vegetables – steamed or cooked veggies, mashed potatoes
- Bread – soft tortillas, muffins, pancakes
- Treats – ice cream, pudding, soft-baked cookies, cake
When you get your braces on, you may feel some general soreness around your teeth and gums. However, this is normal and will go away in a couple of days once your mouth adjusts. To relieve any pain, we recommend rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and swish the solution around in your mouth for a couple of minutes.
If the soreness is more severe, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like what you normally take for a headache. It’s also not uncommon for the lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated during the first couple of weeks as they adjust and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on your braces to lessen the irritation. Just ask our team to help with this.
Loosening Of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment, so don’t worry if your teeth begin feeling slightly loose. Teeth must loosen first so they can be guided into their proper alignment. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will settle firmly in place.
Loose Wire Or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, you can use the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to gently push the irritating wire back into place. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken appliance.
Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
Care Of Appliances
Damaged appliances can lengthen the amount of time you are in treatment, so it’s important to take good care of your appliances. Additionally, your teeth and jaw can only move toward the desired position if rubber bands, headgear, and retainers are worn consistently.
When you have braces, it’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly so your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning.
Some good news about orthodontic treatment is that you can still play sports while wearing braces! If you play any contact sports, it’s important that you consult us for any special precautions such as wearing a mouthguard.
In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances are damaged, give us a call right away for any emergency orthodontic treatment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.