Caring For Braces

It’s important to take care of your braces properly
throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Here are some tips on how to take care of your new braces:

Eating

It’s important to know that you can still enjoy most of your favourite foods while you are wearing braces, but you will need to adjust the way you eat some of them.

For the first few days, you may want to eat soft foods such as pasta, soup, and yogurt. Be careful when eating hard or crunchy food like granola bars or chips. Avoid biting into hard foods like apples and corn on the cob, as this can dislodge brackets or damage the wire. Cut your food into smaller pieces and try to chew evenly on both sides with the back teeth.

Try to minimize sugary foods and beverages to reduce the chance of “white spots” and cavities around your braces.

Foods to avoid with braces

Chewy, sticky foods — licorice, gum, caramel, taffy
Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
Hard foods — nuts, hard candies, crusty breads, granola bars
Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots (cut into small pieces instead)

Foods you CAN eat with braces

Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
Vegetables — mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables, beans
Fruits — applesauce, bananas, melon
Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

caring for braces

Soreness caused by braces and appliances

When you first get your braces, your teeth and mouth may feel a little tender or sore. This is completely normal, and this means the teeth are moving! The discomfort usually will subside after the first week.

To relieve the soreness, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Rinse and gargle this solution for one minute and spit out. If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever, such as Tylenol or Advil. It is not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for a week or so as they toughen and get used to the braces. To ease any discomfort, orthodontic wax can be placed over the appliance to lessen any irritation. Orthodontic wax can also be purchased at the drug store or online.

Loose teeth

Loosening of teeth is normal throughout treatment. Your braces must first loosen your teeth before they move 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. Although this is not an emergency, if this happens, please contact us as soon as possible and we will let you know if you need to come in sooner than your next scheduled appointment for a repair. If any piece of your appliance or braces comes off, please save it and bring it to the office with you at your scheduled appointment.

A loose wire can sometimes be fixed by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire gently back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, place orthodontic wax over the broken wire to relieve the discomfort.

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 wear the rubber bands, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by the doctor as consistently as possible.

Playing sports with braces

If you play sports, we recommend you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance, even if it is not mandatory. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection. In case of an accident that involves the face, be sure to check your mouth and appliance immediately for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance breakage, please contact our office. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.

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