Life with Braces is FANtastic!
Now that you’re rocking your spiffy new braces, how do you take care of them? You’ve probably got questions about eating, soreness, and how it might impact your daily life. We’re here to help you feel confident in your new braces and ready to take on the world! Here are some tips to help you properly take care of your braces.
Eating with braces
Before you dive into some of your favorite eats and treats, take a quick scan through our list of foods you should avoid or be ready to take a few extra steps before sinking your pearly whites into:
- Avoid sticky foods – We’re talking things like caramel, taffy, gum, tootsie rolls, skittles, starbursts, and similar treats.
- Avoid hard foods – Stay away from nuts, hard candies, suckers, ice, and other hard/crunchy food.
- Cut up apples and carrots – Before eating, just cut them into small pieces and eat each piece with your back teeth.
- You can eat popcorn! – BUT! Don’t chew on the kernels and make sure you floss after eating.
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 saltwater).
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 correct position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose. It’s all part of the plan!
Loose wires and brackets
Your wires and/or brackets 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. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax over the broken wire to relieve the pain until you are able to come in for an appointment to get it fixed.
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. We definitely love seeing our patients, but not any longer than needed! 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. Don’t cheat your teeth!
Playing sports with braces
Yes, you can absolutely still play sports even while wearing braces! If you do play sports, we recommend that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliances. Athletic mouth guards are available at the office, so please ask if you need one.
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 saltwater.