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 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 braces.
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 with out nuts
- Grains – pasta, soft-cooked rice
- Meats/poultry – soft-cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats (beware of breads with thick crust)
- 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
Discomfort caused from braces and appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel tender or sore. This is perfectly normal! We promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the discomfort, 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 discomfort continues, you can also try taking a pain reliever. Dr. Paciorek recommends Tylenol™. 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. We supply wax when you get your braces on. You can put it over the braces to lessen the irritation. If you ever need more wax, please let us know!
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Braces or Wires
Sometimes the wires on your braces or one of the braces itself may come loose. If this happens, please contact our office. We will let you know if we need to schedule you to come in for a repair. Some wires are meant to be able to slide back and forth slightly. Some braces that come off can be replaced at your next scheduled appointment.
Our main concern is to make sure any broken items are not causing any discomfort. You can temporarily fix a loose wire by using the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax over the broken wire to relieve the discomfort.
Take Care of your Appliances
Damaged braces and appliances can increase the length of your treatment time, so be sure to take care of all of your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.
Click here to read more about the proper care of your appliances
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 in order to protect your teeth and your braces. We supply mouthguards for you during your treatment.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your braces for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your braces have been damaged, please contact our office. You can temporarily relieve any discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.