LIFE WITH BRACES
Now that you are on the road to having beautiful, straight teeth there are a few things you need to know that will make living with your braces easier. Having braces does not need to have a major impact on your lifestyle, but it is important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
There are certain foods that should be avoided when you have braces, as they may damage them. Don't worry, you can still enjoy most of your favorite foods but it is advised that you avoid anything too hard, chewy or sticky. Foods to steer clear of include bagels, licorice, caramel, nuts, hard sweets and foods that are difficult to bite into, such as apples and corn on the cob. Our expert team will advise you on what foods to avoid when you have your treatment.
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 appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
Chewy foods - bagels, pizza crust
Crunchy foods - popcorn, chips, ice
Sticky foods - caramel candies, taffy, gummy bears
Hard foods - nuts, hard candies
Foods that require biting into - corn on the cob, apples, carrots (these foods can be eaten if they are cut up first)
Minimal carbonated drinks and those containing large amounts of sugar
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
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
Soreness caused from braces and appliances
When you first get your braces, you may experience some discomfort. Your teeth, cheeks, and tongue may feel a little tender as your body gets used to the braces. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! Discomfort typically lasts only a few days and tenderness may be felt while biting into foods and eating. If needed, Tylenol or ibuprofen can be taken to help alleviate discomfort.
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. Orthodontic wax is given the day the braces are placed and can be placed over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you ever need more wax, please let us know!
In order to attain your new smile, your teeth need to be moved into better positions. This can result in your teeth sometimes feeling loose. If you experience this sensation, don't worry; this is normal! Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer feel loose.
Loose Wires and Brackets
Occasionally, a wire or bracket may come loose or even fall off. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that 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 the 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 or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain. As a last resort, the wire can be clipped with fingernail clippers that have been wiped clean with alcohol.
Take Care of your Appliances
Damaged appliances can lengthen the time of your treatment, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. 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.
Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
When you have braces it's very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance
Playing Sports with Braces
The good news is that having braces does not stop you playing sports, however it is recommended that you wear a mouth-guard to protect your teeth and your appliance, especially if you are playing contact sports. We can offer you advice on the best mouth-guard protection and if you do have any accidents while playing sports that affect your braces contact our office straight away.