Life with Braces

Okay, so now that you have your braces and are on your way to a new and improved smile, it is very important to learn how to properly care for your appliances.

Eating with Braces

While you are undergoing treatment, there are some foods that you should avoid because they can cause damage to your braces. But don’t worry, once your braces are removed, you will be free to indulge in all of the foods you love.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • 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 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 by Braces and Appliances

After your braces are placed, you may experience some soreness or tenderness of your teeth and mouth. This is completely normal, temporary, and nothing to worry about. You can achieve some pain relief by dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. You then swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If rinsing does not ease your pain, you can try taking an over the counter pain reliever. Also remember that your lips, cheeks, and tongue can become irritated for a few weeks as they toughen and become completely accustomed to your new appliances. This discomfort can be eased with some orthodontic wax, you can ask us to show you how it works before leaving our office.

Loose Teeth

While you’re wearing braces, your teeth may start to feel a little loose. This is completely normal, your braces work by first loosening your teeth and then moving them into the corrected position. Once the teeth have been repositioned, they will not be loose.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, make sure to put it in a zip lock bag and bring it to the office with you.

You can take care of a loose wire on your own as a temporary fix by gently pushing the wire back into place. You can use the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to achieve this. If the loose wire is rubbing against your lips and cheeks, put wax over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

Take Care of Your Appliances

It is very important to take care of your appliances because damaged appliances can add time to your treatment plan. Your teeth and jaw can only shift into their corrected position if you follow your doctor’s instructions and wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances consistently.

Playing Sports with Braces

If you play sports, don’t worry, you can continue to do so while undergoing orthodontic treatment! However, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance. Your orthodontist can help you find the best mouthguard for your situation.

If you have an accident while playing sports, make sure to check your mouth and appliance for damage immediately. If you detect any loose teeth or appliance damage, be sure to call our office as soon as possible. To relieve some of the discomforts temporarily, apply wax and rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.