Life with Braces

photo of happy girl with braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

Here is a link to watch the "Do it yourself guide to braces": This was made by one of Dr. Hans' students following Dr. Hans' direction. It was made in the 1990s so the clothes and hair dos are dated but the information is timeless.

http://youtu.be/93xkfqyo6kI

Eating with Braces

 You can eat anything you want as long as you are careful when chewing. Anything harder than a raw carrot requires extra caution. 

Foods to chew carefully 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  but you still need to be mindful that you have braces that could come off :

  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o 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 w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Soreness caused from braces and appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend chewing sugarless gum to massage the teeth.

If the pain is more severe you can also try taking whatever you take when you have a headache.  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. We gave you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need more wax, please let us know!

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned and you have your retainers, they will no longer be loose.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible 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. Modern braces can cost as much as 20 dollars a brace so if one comes off and is sitting on the floor pretend its a 20 dollar bill and pick it up! If you swallow a brace do not worry about it. It will come out at the other end of the digestive system. 

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using your fingernail, 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 or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

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.

Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

When you have braces it’s very important to brush your teeth carefully and completely just before you go to bed. At night, the saliva flow decreases and if you leave plaque on your teeth the bacteria multiply rapidly. During the day you can just brush quickly to get any food out from between the braces. At night you have to be serious if you want  to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.

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 in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

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

Mouthguards

Sports related injuries to the mouth and jaw are some of the most common injuries received by athletes. Protecting your smile while playing sports is essential when you have braces. Mouthguards help protect your teeth and gums from injury. If you participate in high-contact sports the American Association of Orthodontists recommends you wear a mouthguard. Be sure to ask your doctor about mouthguards at your next appointment.

 

 

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