Brushing and Flossing
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so that the teeth and gums stay healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Please watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to eat your normal diet. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips like Doritos and Cheetos
- Sticky foods: caramels, gum, taffy
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots, ribs, chicken drumsticks
If it’s CRUNCHY, STICKY, or CHEWY, don’t eat it! When in doubt, do without!
Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Broken brackets and bent wires leads to longer treatment times.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 – 5 days. Take Advil or whatever you would normally take for a headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully and gently push the irritating wire back under the brace. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.
Rubber Band Wear
To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, sometimes we have the patient wear rubber bands. Its very important for the patient to work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time… so please … follow all instructions!
If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. A protective mouthguard is provided for playing contact sports.