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
You will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances. Below are categories of food with a few examples of each.
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, 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
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. 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 just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can take your usual over the counter pain medication. It is also 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. Use the wax that we provided to put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need more wax, please let us know.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal and typically short term! Often times it is due higher than normal biting pressure on that tooth. Once the teeth has been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
The color o-ties and small twisted wires (steel ties) holding the wire into your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
If the end of a steel tie becomes pokey, you can use the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push it back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the area 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 consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.
Playing Sports with Braces
Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth, lips, and appliances. We recommend Shock Doctor Mouth Guard for Braces.
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.