Braces – Now What?!
Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly care for your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Your best friend probably already told you that you can’t eat some of your favorite snacks while you’re wearing braces, right? Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! Remember, braces aren’t meant to be a form of punishment. You can still eat the foods you enjoy, you just need to learn HOW to eat them. But 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, 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, raw carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- 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, soft cake
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
It’s normal for your mouth to feel a bit tender or sore right after you get your braces. This is totally normal, and we promise it won’t feel that way forever! Swishing with warm saltwater for a couple of minutes is a great way to relieve minor pain. If that doesn’t work, an over-the-counter pain reliever can also help.
It can take your lips, cheeps and tongue a couple of weeks to get used to the braces, so in the meantime, you may experience some slight irritations. Orthodontic wax can be placed over the braces to lessen this tenderness. Whenever you need wax, please let us know.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces have to loosen your teeth first before they can move into the right positions. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands and Damage
Bands and wires can come loose at any time during treatment, but don’t worry, they are easy to temporarily fix until you can get in to see us. If a wire becomes loose, take the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to gently push the wire back into place. If the wire is causing irritation, simply place some orthodontic wax or a wet cotton ball over it until your appointment.
If you lose any piece of your appliance, be sure to save it and bring it with you when you come in. It’s important to come see us as soon as you can so we can repair your appliance. They can only be effective if they work properly, so the sooner you get into us, the sooner you can be back on track.
Game, Set, Match!
Don’t worry – you won’t have to give up your favorite sport while you’re in braces! We recommend that you wear a mouth guard to protect your mouth from injury and your braces/appliances from damage. We are happy to help you find the right mouth guard for you. We do stock some mouth guards, so just ask us at your next appointment.
If you experience an emergency while playing sports, check your mouth and braces/appliances for damage, and contact our office right away if there is any. If you experience any discomfort, rinse with warm saltwater and use wax over any areas that are irritated.