Life with Braces
Everyone always asks us the best way to get the fastest and most precise results from braces. Our advice is always the same, take care of your appliance. An appliance in perfect working order will yield the best results. Follow the advice in this section to keep your braces in tip-top shape.
Eating with Braces
An important part of caring for your braces is avoiding the foods that can damage your appliance. Once your treatment is completed, you can go back to enjoying all of the foods with your new and improved smile.
Foods that can damage your braces:
- Chewy foods — beef jerky, hard bread
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, hard chips, ice, raw vegetables
- Sticky foods — gummy candy, chewing gum, taffy
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, chicken wings, ribs on the bone
Foods that are safe to eat with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, yogurt, smoothies
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, plain muffins
- 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
Once your braces are placed, it is very common to feel some soreness and tenderness on your teeth and other soft mouth tissues. This symptom is temporary and not a cause for concern. You can relieve the discomfort by doing salt water rinses. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of water at lukewarm temperature. Once you have your saltwater solution, swish and gargle it in your mouth for a couple of minutes, just be careful not to swallow the saltwater.
If the discomfort persists after rinsing, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the discomfort. Remember that your lips, cheeks, and tongue are becoming accustomed to your new appliance and will take up to a few weeks to toughen up enough to do away with irritation. We recommend applying orthodontic wax to any irritated areas to help ease some of the friction caused by your braces.
As your braces begin to shift your teeth into place, your teeth may begin to feel a bit loose. Do not worry, this is a sign that your braces are doing their job, the teeth must loosen first before they can be moved. Once your treatment is completed, your teeth won’t be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
During your treatment, you may experience a variety of difficult situations including the wires and bands on your braces becoming loose. To correct this situation, call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to inspect and repair your braces. If any piece comes off of your braces, place it inside an envelope or plastic bag and bring it to your appointment.
If the loose wire is poking you, you can push it back into place by using gentle force. The back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil is prime tool candidates for this task. Another solution is to place wax over the poking wire to keep it from rubbing against the soft tissues of your mouth.
Take Care of Your Appliances
Your appliance can only do its job if it is in proper working order, damaged or broken appliances that are not fixed right away can result in delays to your treatment plan. Take care of your appliances to avoid these delays. To achieve the best results, another important component is following your doctor’s instructions. Wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, and any other appliances for the prescribed number of hours and you will see that the results are worth the effort.
Playing Sports with Braces
Do you love sports but feel insecure playing with braces? There is no need to worry, you can wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance from damage or injury. Dr. Marrecau can recommend the best mouthguard for your case.
If you experience an accident while participating in sports activities, take a deep breath, do not panic. Once you are calm, check your mouth and appliance for any damage. If there is damage to the teeth or appliance, give us a call to schedule a time to come in for repairs. Some temporary relief can be achieved by applying orthodontic wax and doing warm salt water rinses.