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 you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o 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
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods – bagels, liquorice
- 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
“The staff put my nervous son at ease with their professional education and kind explaination of the whole process. While I can’t say he’s happy about getting braces, the team at the office made it as smooth a process as possible.“
– Annie A.
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 for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, 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 salt water).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. 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. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some 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 in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be 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 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.
Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
When you have braces it’s very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.
Using a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste place bristles where gums and teeth meet.
For 10 seconds on each tooth use circular, vibrating motions around the gum lines.
Every tooth of both arches should be brushed slowly.
Brush the lower teeth from gum line up and the upper teeth from the gum line down. Brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue too!
Carefully thread unwaxed floss between braces and wire. You may find a floss threader helpful.
Carefully floss around the braces.
Carefully floss around the gum areas.
Carefully floss around each tooth.
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 in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor 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 your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth, or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.
- When your braces come off, wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainers out when eating, and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odours. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacement is expensive; with proper care they will last for years!
- Remove retainers when swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.