Now that you have started your orthodontic journey, how do you take care of your appliances to ensure we get the best results? It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
BRACES AND FOOD
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 — pizza crust,bagels, licorice
• Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
• Sticky foods — caramel candies
• Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
• Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots, celery
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
DISCOMFORT FROM BRACES AND APPLIANCES
When you get your braces, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender for 48-72 hours. Stick to a soft diet for the first couple days. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water rinse. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Advil) or whatever you normally take for headaches.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Wax is always your best friend for minor irritations!
We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you run out of wax, please let us know.
Patients often report that their teeth begin feeling a little loose, which is normal while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, the looseness goes away!
PLAYING SPORTS WITH BRACES
For all of our athletes, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance from potential trauma. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection. We have several options available on request.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.