Once you begin your treatment with braces, you may be curious how you are going to take care of them. It is vital that you understand how to take care of your braces correctly throughout your complete orthodontic treatment.
Eating with braces
Don’t fret about it…within no time, you will be back enjoying crunchy potato chips and snacking on popcorn. However, before you can begin starting to eat some of the food you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that may damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces
For example, foods to avoid with braces include: hard foods such as candies and nuts; crunchy foods such as ice and potato chips; sticky foods including chewing gum and caramel candies; foods that require biting into, such as carrots, apples, and corn on the cob; and chewy foods such as licorice and bagels.
Foods you can eat with braces
Foods that you can successfully enjoy with braces include: Poultry and Meats, such as meatballs, soft cooked chicken, deli meats; Breads such as muffins without nuts, pancakes and soft tortillas; Fruits such as bananas, apples and fruit juice; Seafood such as crab cakes, salmon and tuna; Treats such as milkshakes, soft cake, Jell-O, ice cream without nuts; Vegetables such as beans, steamed spinach and mashed potatoes and Dairy such as milk-based drinks, pudding and soft cheese.
Soreness caused by braces and appliances
After you initially receive your braces, you may notice that your mouth and your teeth feel a little sore or tender. This is completely normal. We promise you that it is only temporary and your mouth will not be sore forever. A helpful and easy thing to do to help relieve pain is to dissolve one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of lukewarm water. Use this solution to swish and gargle with in your mouth for a couple of minutes. Be sure that you do not swallow the salt water in the process.
If you are still experiencing pain after rinsing or if it seems more severe, you may wish to use a painkiller. It is not uncommon for your tongue, cheeks and lips to become irritated for the first week or two after the braces go on, as they toughen up and become used to them. We can supply you with some wax that you can place over any rough spots on your braces in order to lessen the tenderness. If you require any wax, please do not hesitate to ask and we will be happy to supply some.
Do not be alarmed if your teeth begin to feel a little loose. This is completely normal. Your braces need to first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the correct position. After your teeth have been repositioned, they will not be loose anymore!
Loose wires and bands
It sometimes happens where the bands and wires on your braces may become loose. If this situation occurs, please call us as soon as possible so we can repair and inspect your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, please save it and bring it with you to the office at your next appointment.
It is possible to temporarily amend the loose wire by utilizing the eraser end of a pencil or the back of a spoon to carefully push the wire gently back to where it should be. If however, the loose wire is causing irritation to your cheeks or lips, use a wet cotton ball or some wax over the broken wire to help relieve the pain.
Take care of your appliances
If your appliances are damaged, the overall length of your treatment process can be increased dramatically. Therefore, be sure to properly take care of all of your appliances. Your jaw and your teeth can only successfully move into their correct positions if you wear your retainer, headgear, rubber bands or other appliances consistently as prescribed by your orthodontist.
Playing sports with braces
We have excellent news for athletes…you are still capable of playing sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment. It is recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your appliance and your teeth if you do play sports. If you need help finding a mouth guard for protection, let your doctor know.
Be sure to inspect your appliance and mouth immediately for damage in case you have a sports injury. Please contact our office right away if you notice any appliance damage or loose teeth. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or applying wax can help to temporarily relieve any discomfort.