Now that you have 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
Don't worry, you'll be eating all the things you love again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
How to eat with your braces:
A good rule of thumb is to stay away from hard, sticky, gooey, and chewy foods. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Sticky foods — Caramel Candies, Suckers, Jolly Ranchers, Skittles, Starburst, Laffy Taffy, etc.
- Hard foods/foods that require biting into — Apples, carrots, celery, and pears should all be cut up into small pieces and chewed with the molars. Pizza crust, french bread, and bagels should all be pulled apart first and not torn with the front teeth. NO chewing on ice, pen caps, pencils, nuts, or fingernails. Be careful when eating raisins, or any other dried fruit, as this may bend wires. Any meat on the bone should be taken off the bone first. Corn on the cob should be cut off of the cob.
This will eliminate the possibility of breaking brackets and delaying treatment.
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked 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 without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness Caused from Braces
When you first get your braces, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender when biting for 3-5 days. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend that you take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or whatever you would normally take for a headache or discomfort. Try to eat as normally as possible to reduce prolonged soreness. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for 1-2 weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in the irritated areas to lessen any discomfort. If you need extra wax, please let us know.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, it's okay! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. The teeth will then firm up in their new corrected positions after treatment is completed.
Loose Wires and Bands
Don't be alarmed if a wire, band, or bracket comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire is sticking out and irritating you, try to place the wire back in or simply try to get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or sugarless gum (chew up a piece), and place on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Please call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to check and repair this problem.
Taking 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 prescribed by Dr. Redd.
Playing Sports with Braces
Most sports (especially contact sports) require a mouthguard. If you play sports, let us know and we will provide you with a mouthguard at no charge. Mouthguards will not only protect your teeth from injury, but they will also protect the brackets from breaking.
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.