Now that you have your braces, it is important for you to know how to take care of them properly!
Foods to avoid with braces
It is important to avoid any foods that can damage your new appliances.
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, 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 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 by braces and appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender. 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 a couple of minutes, but do not swallow the salt water.
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also take ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
It is 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 recommend placing wax over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
If your teeth begin to feel a little loose, don’t worry because this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
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 we can 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 push the wire carefully and gently 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, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances consistently as prescribed.
Playing sports with braces
Game, set, and match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment! It is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to check your mouth and appliance immediately 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 salt water.