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 are encouraged to keep regular 6-month checkup appointments with the general dentist to ensure the best orthodontic results. 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 fruits and 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
  • Sweets: you don’t have to give them up totally, but try to limit your sweets consumption

Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer, and may incur an additional expense.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 5 – 7 days. Take Tylenol, or whatever you normally take for a headache or general discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen the discomfort.

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 happens occasionally. If a wire tie sticks out and is irritating, use the eraser end of a pencil or a cotton swab to carefully push the irritating wire tie back under the archwire to get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax on the wire to reduce the irritation. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to fix the problem area.

Rubber Band Wear

To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time…so please follow instructions.

Athletics

If you play sports, it’s important to let us know. A protective mouthguard is provided for sports.