Life with Braces

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 them throughout your entire orthodontic treatment. Scroll down for some helpful tips to get you started.

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 appliances.

Foods to avoid:

  • 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:

  • 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, cake

Soreness Caused by 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).

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. 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 can happily provide you with wax which you can place under your braces to decrease tenderness. If you need some, let us know.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. 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 back of a spoon or 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.

Take Care of Your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth can only move properly so long as the appliances recommended by your doctor are being used. Not doing so may negatively impact your case finish and/or delay treatment.

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 braces and appliances. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, make sure to check your mouth and appliances for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away.

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