Braces Are a Big Step
You’ve taken a big step by starting your braces journey! You're now officially on the path towards a healthy, beautiful smile.
It’s an exciting time, but it also comes with a bit of a learning curve. As you get used to your new orthodontic treatment, you may need to make a few adjustments.
Don’t worry, though! It'll become second nature before you know it.
Life In Treatment
Can Be Awesome With a Little Knowledge
It’s not uncommon for some patients to feel minor discomfort for the first few days after they get their braces on. Teeth might even feel a little loose - after all, they are on the move!
While many patients say it’s no big deal, some choose to keep some pain reliever (just like you’d take for a headache) handy for a day or two after each appointment. Tenderness usually subsides within a few days.
If your pain doesn’t subside in a day or two, feel free to give us a call or make an appointment as necessary.
Care & Maintenance
Brushing with braces can take some getting used to. Maneuvering around brackets and wires takes a little practice. Be sure to brush thoroughly after every meal or snack, so any food particles are removed before bacteria has a chance to grow.
If you’re not able to brush right away, rinsing your mouth with water will help until you can get to a toothbrush.
Follow these tips for the best results:
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head. Electric and sonic toothbrushes are also acceptable.
- Brush your teeth after meals and snacks.
- When you do not have access to a toothbrush, rinse with water to dislodge food from your braces and to keep sugar from sitting on your teeth.
- Floss your teeth at least once a day.
- Have a checkup and cleaning with your dentist every 6 months.
Eating With Braces
You’ve probably heard from friends and family members who have worn braces that you won’t be able to eat some of your favorite foods while you’re in treatment.
The truth is, you can eat most anything as long as you avoid foods that might cause you to lose a bracket, break a wire, or get tangled up in goo. Here is a simple, helpful guide to help you avoid any issues.
Foods You Can Eat
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, mufﬁns without nuts
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, sliced fruit, most berries (but watch out for seeds)
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Foods you have to bite into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
There are also a few oral habits you’ll want to steer clear of to keep your braces functioning perfectly.
Chewing on objects like pens and ice cubes, biting your nails, and smoking can all cause unwanted pressure on your braces. Do your best to find another way to keep yourself busy while undergoing orthodontic treatment.