Brushing and Flossing
It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so your teeth and gums stay healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. We invite you to watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Whether you just got your braces on or if you've had them for a while, it's best to eat softer foods. This will help protect your braces from any damage. Chewing on hard things, other than foods, such as pens, pencils, etc., can damage the braces and wires, and can cause treatment to take longer. By eating softer foods, you're protecting not only your braces, but also your teeth as they're adjusting and moving through the straightening process.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods such as bagels, hard rolls, and licorice
- Crunchy foods such as popcorn, pretzels, chips
- Sticky foods such as caramels, candy, and gum
- Foods you have to bite into, such as corn on the cob, apples, and carrots
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 - 5 days. Your doctor may suggest taking a mild pain reliever or anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve the discomfort. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new, corrected positions after treatment is completed.
Loose Wire or Band
Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This may happen occasionally. If a wire sticks out and causes irritation, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the wire back under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance, and call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.
Rubber Band Wear
To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time, so please follow instructions.
If you play sports, it's important you let us know. A protective mouthguard is provided for playing contact sports.