Life 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.

Eating with Braces

Don’t worry; you’ll be eating popcorn again in no time! 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 and lengthen your treatment duration with braces.

Things to Avoid with Braces:

  • Sticky foods and candy – toffee, caramels, Starburst, licorice, gummies
  • Hard candy – jaw breakers, cinnamon hearts
  • Super hard foods – whole nuts, crunchy or frozen granola bars, popcorn, hard pizza crusts
  • Chewing ice!!!
  • Biting your nails and other hard objects such as pens and pencils

Things to be careful with:

  • Meat should be cut off the bone
  • Corn should be cut off the cob
  • Remove pits from fruits such as peaches and plums
  • Cut up apples, pears, carrots, and other hard fruits and vegetables instead of biting into them
  • Break hard rolls and buns into smaller bites

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Everything else! 
  • Take it slow in the beginning with smaller bites and chew gently, and you’ll be back to your normal diet in no time
  • GUM!  We allow our patients to chew sugarless gum as it gently stimulates the teeth and promotes effective tooth movements.  Please avoid bubble gum and other sugared gums as they will cause rapid formation of cavities 

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 using over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) as necessary to make things more comfortable for the first couple days.

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. Don’t forget the wax that we provided to put over the braces to lessen the irritation. If you need more wax, just give us a call.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose or wiggly, 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 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.

If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put a large ball of wax over the broken piece to relieve the pain and temporarily reattach it to the other braces.

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 elastics, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Chow.

Click here to learn how to take care of any problems with your braces and appliances

Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

When you have braces it’s very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. 

Please click here to review our hygiene instruction card that was presented to you when you had your braces put on. Please feel free to ask us for help with your brushing or flossing techniques at any of your appointments!

Playing Sports with Braces

We encourage you to continue participating in all sports and activities while undergoing orthodontic treatment! 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. We are pleased to be able to provide you with a mouthguard designed to provide the best protection with braces, while allowing your treatment to continue.

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 as necessary.

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