All About Braces
Brushing and Flossing
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice
- Sticky foods: caramels, gum
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
When you get your braces on, you may feel that your teeth and gums are sore or tender. This is absolutely normall! This discomfort usually subsides in 3-5 days and can be relieved with your typical pain reliever (Tylenol, Advil, Alieve, etc.).
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This may happen occasionally. If a wire begins to stick out and cause irritation, there are a few steps on how to handle it. First, try applying wax to the area. Ensure that the area is dry and mold the wax to fit over the poking wire. This should relieve any discomfort for the time being. Next, call our office to schedule an appointment so that our team can clip the wire for you.
Rubber Band Wear
Lack of cooperation with following instructions as well as damaged appliances will lengthen the overall treatment time.
If you play sports, it is important that you let us know. Our team can point you in the right direction towards getting a mouth guard that is compatible with patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.