Life with Braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? Here are some basics to keep in mind for 'Life with Braces' throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn again in no time!  With braces, however, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your appliances.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

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, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Soreness

When you first get your braces or a new appliance, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal - and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in 8oz of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for a few minutes (do not swallow).

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 1-2 weeks as they become used to the braces. We can provide a special wax to cover the braces to lessen any tenderness. 

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them 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. If this happens, please call our office 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.

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax over the broken wire to releive any poking until you are able to get to the office.

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 consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Dr. Hershey will provide a mouthguard for her Athlete-patients at no cost. 

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.

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