Now that you have made the big decision to get braces and to get that beautiful smile that you always wanted, we will show you how to properly take care of them throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Eating with braces is a little bit different than eating without. You need to take care of them and avoid any foods that could cause breakage to your appliance. Don’t worry and be happy because after you get your beautiful smile you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time!
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Stay away from chewy foods such as: bagels, licorice, beef jerky
- Stay away from crunchy foods such as: popcorn, chips, pretzels, crackers, ice, pizza crust
- Stay away from sticky foods such as: caramel candies, chewing gum
- Stay away from hard foods such as: nuts, hard candies
- Stay away from foods that require biting into such as: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy such as: soft cheese, yogurt, milk-based drinks
- Breads such as: soft pita, soft tortillas, pancakes, waffles, muffins w/o nuts
- Grains such as: soft bread, pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry such as: soft cooked chicken, meatballs, ground red meat, lunch meats
- Seafood such as: tuna, salmon, mussels, crab cakes
- Vegetables such as: green beans, mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, lentils
- Fruits such as: watermelon, applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats such as: ice cream w/o nuts, smoothies, milkshakes, Jell-O
Soreness caused from braces and appliancesWhen you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! 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 an over the counter pain reliever; we recommend Tylenol® because it is the only pain reliever that does not slow down tooth movement unlike the rest (i.e. Ibuprofen, Advil...etc). 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 pressure spots. If you need some extra wax, please let us know!
It’s normal if your teeth begin feeling a little loose. In order to move your teeth into the right position your braces must first loosen your teeth. After your teeth have been set straight in their new proper position and maintained in retention, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Brackets, Wires and Bands
It is possible the wires, brackets and bands on your braces may come loose – you will notice you can move the band/bracket up-and-down. In-case of such occurrence, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can address your need. Please save any piece of your appliance that comes loose or off and bring it with you to your next appointment.
If your wire comes out of the tubes/bands you can use a tweezer to carefully put it back into the tube. It is possible that your wire may rotate and become longer on one end (In the back of the mouth). This is referred as a “Pokey wire”. You can temporarily fix a “pokey wire” by using the back of a pen or the eraser end of a pencil to push the long end back-in. If the braces or loose wire is causing sore spot to your cheeks put wax over the wire/bracket to alleviate the discomfort.
Take Care of your Appliances
Taking care of your appliances is extremely important. If you don’t protect your appliances from breakage it will lead to delay in your treatment. It is important to follow your doctor’s instruction because teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances as prescribed.
Playing Sports with Braces
Great news for sport enthusiast. Undergoing orthodontic treatment will not stop you from playing sports. Your doctor will recommend and help you find a mouthguard that will protect your teeth and appliance.
During any sport accident make sure you check your mouth and appliance right away. In case of occurrence of any damage to your teeth or appliance contact our office right away. You can use wax or rinse your mouth with lukewarm saltwater to temporarily alleviate any discomfort as needed. We are always a phone call away.