It’s important for you to properly take care of your braces throughout your orthodontic treatment, not only for good oral hygiene but also to help ensure that your treatment stays on track.
Eating with Braces
Because your teeth may be sensitive during the first weeks of treatment and after an adjustment you should try to eat mostly soft foods. It is important to be careful when eating and take care of your braces, as a broken or loose bracket can extend your treatment time.
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
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).
To relieve general soreness from the braces you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to also become irritated as they adjust to the braces. Please use the was to put over the braces to lessen irritation. If you need more wax, please let us know.
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 feel 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 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 over the broken wire.
Take Care of your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment, so please 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 Dr. VanderWall.
Playing Sports with Braces
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 Dr. VanderWall know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
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.