Life With Braces

Having braces on, you should know how to take care of them. It’s important for you to know and follow proper care instructions throughout your entire orthodontic treatment so that your treatment finishes well in time and the results are fabulous.

Eating with Braces

A day after you have your braces on, you will have difficulty in eating normal food. You may have mild pain and discomfort while having food that requires chewing. You need to take pain relieving medicine and rinse with warm salt water to reduce the pain and discomfort. Over next 3 – 4 days the pain will disappear and you will be able to eat your favorite food. However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances. Hard and sticky foods as well as bad habits do damage to braces and teeth which can lengthen time braces are on.

Brushing Teeth With Braces

With the braces on, the teeth should be kept clean with frequent brushing. An orthodontic brush is recommended for this purpose. Brushing your teeth after every small or large meal is important to avoid developing white spots or cavities in teeth and gum inflammation and bleeding. Evidence of plaque on teeth and gum bleeding are definite indicators of improper brushing. If your teeth have already accumulated tartar and seem to be difficult to keep clean, you may have to schedule an appointment with your dentist for full mouth prophylaxis even with your braces on.

Brushing Teeth With Braces

Daily use of fluoride rinse like Phosphlur helps to remineralize white spot lesions on teeth and increase the resistance of your teeth to cavities.

Foods you CAN eat with braces
Foods you CAN eat with braces
  • Chewy foods – tough meats, bagels etc
  • Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum, chocolates
  • Sugary food – sugary candies, toffees, sugary chewing gum.
  • Hard foods – nuts, hard candies, whole apples, raw carrots, corn on the cobb
  • Foods that cannot be cut, chopped, or sliced into smaller pieces
  • Habits like nail biting, pen chewing and opening things with your teeth
Foods you CAN eat with braces
  • Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads – soft breads, chapattis, soft rotis etc.
  • Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry – soft cooked chicken, meat and seafood without shellsand crusts.
  • Vegetables – well cooked vegetables without nuts.
  • Fruits – Fruits like apple to be cut in small pieces, bananas, fruit juices
  • Treats – ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, soft cake
  • Gum – as long as it’s sugarless
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 got their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever the doctor has prescribed. 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 would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some 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, they will no longer be loose.

Loose Wires, Bands and Brackets

Improper and careless handling of your braces can make the wires, brackets and bands on your braces to become 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.

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 or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire and apply an anesthetic mouth gel to relieve the pain.

Take Care of your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, disturb the appointment schedule and compromise the final result, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Follow all the instructions carefully. Your orthodontist has applied orthodontic forces on your teeth in a carefully balanced way. 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

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 and applying anesthetic gel to the wound.