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 your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
EATING WITH BRACES
What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! If you’ve been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods like macaroni and cheese, soup, yogurt, etc. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
FOODS TO AVOID
Remember… Anything hard, sticky, or chewy that is between your top and bottom teeth when you bite down can break off a brace!
- Chewy foods – bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, ice, chips
- Sticky foods – caramels, bubble gum
- Hard foods – nuts, hard candy
- Foods you have to bite into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces and your teeth!
We are excited to get your teeth moving toward that final smile. As the pressure begins to move the teeth, the ligament that surrounds each tooth root swells. That is what causes the soreness that people describe when their teeth begin to move. We prepare all patients for this soreness feeling at the beginning of their treatment. It doesn’t matter if you have spaces between your teeth or crowding in your mouth. It doesn’t matter if we are using braces or Invisalign, moving teeth can cause soreness. The good news is that it typically only lasts 3-5 days and doesn’t reoccur at future appointments. Products like Ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) are recommended for reducing swelling to help the discomfort.
People sometimes notice their teeth feel loose during treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new – corrected – positions. This is why retainers are important at the end of your treatment.
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so the teeth and gums are healthy after 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. Our video entitled “Cleaning Your Braces” will demonstrate these techniques.
If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouth-guard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened, contact your dentist immediately to avoid potential long-term damage. If your appliances have been damaged, please call us to schedule an evaluation appointment.