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Life with Braces
Congratulations! You’re one step closer to achieving a beautiful smile. To achieve the smile you want, be sure to follow these instructions for proper care of your braces. Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process. 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 your doctor.
Eating with Braces
While wearing braces, it’s important to avoid some foods that could damage the appliances.
Foods to avoid:
- Chewy foods – bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you can eat:
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o 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 w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Brushing and Flossing
It’s very important to brush and floss after every meal to keep teeth and gums healthy while wearing braces. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, or dental floss, please ask us to help you.
Don’t worry if your teeth begin feeling a little loose; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
Please contact us as soon as possible if the wires or bands on your braces come loose so we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix a loose wire with the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil by carefully pushing the wire back into place. If the 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.
Soreness caused from braces and appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel sore. This is perfectly normal 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 a couple of minutes (do not swallow the salt water).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also take a pain reliever. It is 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 to put over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
Playing Sports with Braces
You can still play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, wearing a mouth guard is recommended to protect your teeth and appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.