It's a team effort!
In order for your orthodontic treatment to be effective It's important for you to know how to properly care for your braces and teeth throughout your entire treatment. Learning what foods or activities to avoid and how to care for your teeth and braces will take some time but here are a few things that will help.
Eating with Braces
Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on your favorite foods 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.
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
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 without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
Because orthodontic treatment requires constant attention, periodic tightening is required so pressure can gradually straighten your teeth and align your jaw as needed. 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 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. 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 provide wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
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 or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Dental Cleanings and Check Ups!
You still need to see your regular dentist for check-ups and cleanings. The team at Wilson Orthodontics is happy to help make this process easier by removing your arch wires before the cleaning appointment and replacing them after. Just give us a call to schedule a convenient time.
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 Dr. Wilson.
Playing Sports with Braces
Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! It's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliances. Let Dr. Wilson 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 appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.
We are always here to help!
Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions or concerns! The competent and supportive team at Wilson Orthodontics is just a phone call away 503-925-1566.