Life With Braces
Patients often worry about complications when getting braces. To avoid unnecessary discomfort or irritation, follow these instructions to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
When you first get braces, avoid crunchy, hard, and sticky foods that could damage your new appliances. Here are some general guidelines:
Foods to avoid with braces:
Chewy foods — licorice
Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
Sticky foods — caramel candies
Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, whole apples, carrots
Foods you can eat with braces:
Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins
Grains — pasta, cooked rice
Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed carrots
Fruits — bananas, sliced apples
Treats — ice cream, milkshakes, cupcakes
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
Your teeth and mouth may feel tender or sore when you first get your braces. This is perfectly normal and will diminish over time. To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking 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 wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some 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. Once your teeth reposition, 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 a piece of your appliance comes off, try to save it to bring with you for your appointment. If a 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.
Playing Sports with Braces
You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your appliance. We provide complimentary mouth guards meant to fit over braces for all or our patients. We have a variety of team colors, so let us know if you would like one.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.