Life with Braces
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
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:
- Hard Foods — ice, nuts, hard candies, popcorn kernels, hard edges of pizza
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, taffy, bubble gum
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots, ribs (these can still be eaten if cut into bite size pieces)
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Most foods are allowed except those listed above.
- We encourage our patients to chew sugar free gum to relieve soreness from treatment.
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!
It is also common for your cheecks and lips to become irritated as they toughen and become used to the braces. Please place the wax you are given to lesson the tenderness.
To Relieve the Discomfort, we recommend:
- Chewing sugar free gum to decrease inflammation which causes soreness.
- Taking what you usually take to relieve a headace in your usual dose (Advil, Tylenol, Aleve).
- Studies have shown Tylenol to be the most effective.
- Warm salt water rinses twice a day. Dissolving one teaspoon of salt in 8 oz. of lukewarm water and swishing for a couple of minutes (do not swollow the saltwater).
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; 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, Brackets, or Bands
The wires, brackets or bands may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible 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.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire 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 process, 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 and your appliance. Let us know if you need a mouthguard which we happily provide our athletes at Morgan Orthodontics.
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.