Life with Braces

GENERAL_APPEARANCE-sm

 

Taking Care of your Smile with Braces

Now that you have your braces, it is important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on pretzels 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.

 

pretzel

popSome Foods to Avoid with Braces:

  • Chewy foods — bagels, pizza crust, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, kettle or tortilla chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, gummies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, chicken wings, ribs, apples, carrots

smoothie2Foods that are great to eat with Braces!

  • Dairy — soft cheese, yogurt, 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, grapes, oranges
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Tenderness Cause by your 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 and we promise that 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).

waxIt 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.  You may call our office at anytime to request more wax!

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned and aligned, they will no longer be loose.  Please let Drs. Chow and Ko know if you have any concerns!

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 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 and/or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to soothe the pain.  Please do not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions.

Take Care or 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 us!

mouthguard3Playing 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 mouth guard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our practice right away and we will guide you!