Now that your teeth have been fitted with braces, how do you care for them and your teeth so that your treatment is able to achieve the best possible results in the shortest amount of time? Here’s how you can properly maintain your braces and dental health throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment:
For the first few days of wearing braces, you may notice a soreness or tenderness in your teeth and mouth. This is a common occurrence and is only temporary! The soreness often decreases around day 3 and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol. Eating soft foods for the first few days also helps avoid increased soreness while eating.
Another common side effect of braces you may experience within the first few weeks of treatment is irritation of the lips, cheeks, or tongue. This is because the mouth isn’t used to having braces touching it just yet. We provide you with a special wax that you can apply on the braces to reduce this discomfort.
Also, keep in mind that it is perfectly normal—and only temporary—for your teeth to begin feeling loose over the course of treatment; the braces are meant to help loosen teeth so they can easily shift to the correct positions. Once they have moved to the right place, your teeth will no longer feel loose.
Once you begin wearing braces, there are certain foods that you should avoid to keep your braces and teeth clean and in good condition. These foods include:
Chewy foods (soft candies, donuts)
Sticky foods (gum and other sticky candies)
Crunchy foods (chips, popcorn)
Hard foods (hard candies, nuts)
Foods that require biting into (apples, corn on the cob)
Although you may not be able to eat some of your more favorite foods, there are plenty of other, tasty foods that are safe to eat with braces! These foods include:
Dairy – milk-based drinks, soft cheeses
Grains – soft tortillas, muffins (without nuts), pancakes, soft cooked rice, pasta
Meats – lunch meats, soft-cooked chicken, tuna, salmon, meatballs
Fruits – bananas and soft, fruit-based foods such as applesauce and fruit juice
Vegetables – beans, steamed spinach, mashed potatoes
Treats – ice cream (without nuts), soft cakes and other desserts, pudding, Jell-O
Make sure to cut food into smaller bites
You can still continue to participate in your favorite activities and sports with braces! If you play sports, we recommend that you use a well-fitted mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces from damage.
In the event of a sports injury, make sure you immediately inspect your mouth and braces for any sign of damage. If you notice loose teeth or damage to your braces, please contact our office as soon as possible.
During your orthodontic treatment, the wires and bands on your braces may become loose. If you notice this happening, please call our office as soon as you can so that we can repair the problem. In the event that a piece of the appliance comes off, make sure you save the piece and bring it with you to our office.
A quick way to temporarily fix a pokey wire is to place wax over it to protect the lips and gums. If the wire becomes too long and pokes out of the back of the last bracket (this is a good thing because usually means teeth are moving), we can instruct you on how to clip the wire at home with fingernail clippers to prevent you from having to come to our office.