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 can still enjoy most of the foods you love while wearing braces! However, you will need to avoid foods that are sticky, chewy, crunchy or hard.
Foods You CAN Eat with Braces:
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without 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
Foods to Avoid 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
Discomfort Caused by 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 adjust soon!
If needed to relieve the discomfort, we recommend taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. 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 recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water to soothe the irritation. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater). Also, the wax we provide in your braces goodie bag can be placed over the braces to lessen the tenderness while you adjust. If you need some extra wax, please let us know!
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 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.
You can temporarily fix a loose wire by using the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back in 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 and Flossing with Braces
It is important to have excellent oral hygiene during braces to prevent cavities, gum irritation and decalcifications of your teeth. A clean mouth is a happy mouth! If you have questions about how to brush with braces, click here for a great instructional video.
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 Dr. Tisseront 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.
If you have any questions or queries regarding your life with braces, please ask Dr. Tisseront at your next appointment or contact our office at: 703-773-1200. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.