Now that you have your 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 chewing gum, eating popcorn, and snacking on potato chips 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. Braces are designed to come off when your treatment is completed, so eating the wrong foods can cause the brackets to become loose during treatment. Excessive breakage may cause a delay in getting your braces off since treatment can not progress without all the appliances in place.
Some foods to avoid with braces:
As a rule, please do not eat any HARD, CRUNCHY OR STICKY FOODS during your treatment. Also take smaller bites so as not to loosen the back braces when chewing.
- 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
Something is Loose, What Do I Do?
If breakage does occur, please phone our office immediately. By calling our office, we can check and repair your appliances. 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 by using the back a pencil eraser to carefully push the wire back into place. If the wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken area to relieve the discomfort. Be sure to let us know what happened. We are here to help.
Wearing Rubber Bands (Elastics)
Remember, you are part of the Orthodontic team and wearing your rubberbands is a your responsiblity. These little bands have the power to move the teeth into proper postion, but only if they are worn properly. If you refuse to wear your rubber bands, your teeth may not seat completely and you will compromise the outcome of your treatment.
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or 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 just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater). You may also use the medication you would take for a typical headache for the first few days after your orthodontic adjustment. Be sure to use any medication as directed on the bottle. 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. It is also normal if your teeth feel a little loose during treatment. Your braces must first loosen the teeth so they can be moved into proper position. To lessen any tenderness or irritation, use your wax over the area. If you need more wax, please let us know.
Playing Sports with Braces
Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need an orthodontic mouthgard. We will dispense one to you in the office.
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.