You’re excited to get that perfect smile, but you’re also a little nervous about the process. Here’s a little preview of what life with braces will be like.
Eating with Braces
What can you eat? Initially, for the first day or so after the appliances are placed, you may want to stick to soft foods (i.e. pasta, yogurt, oatmeal). Throughout your treatment, you will need to make an effort to protect your orthodontic appliances by avoiding certain foods that have a tendency to break them. Damaged or broken braces will cause treatment to take longer.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods: bagels, granola bars
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods: taffy, caramel, chewing gum
- Hard foods: nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into: apples, corn on the cob
In an effort to still enjoy some of your favorite foods while wearing braces, try cutting food into small, bite-size pieces.
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and the soreness will subside after a few days. Over the counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Advil, may be taken as needed to address this discomfort. 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. After the braces are placed, we will provide you with wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the discomfort.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t be alarmed- this is to be expected throughout treatment. Your braces will first loosen your teeth to move them into the correct position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, and treatment is complete, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose, it happens occasionally. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (i.e. eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back into place or out of the way. If the loose wire or broken brace is causing irritation to your lips, cheeks or tongue, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the wire or brace to relieve the pain.
Taking Care of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. It is also very important to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so that the teeth and gums remain healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients should continue to see their dentist every six months for cleanings and dental check-ups. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist (gum specialist) during orthodontic treatment.
Playing Sports with Braces
Of course you can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! However, if you do play sports, it is highly recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliances. Let us know if you need help finding the right protective mouthguard.