Life with Braces
Okay so you made it through your initial consultation, you agreed with Dr. Dunn on a treatment plan, and your braces have been placed. Now a critical part of your treatment begins, taking care of your braces.
EATING WITH BRACES
There are foods that you will have to stay away from during your treatment, these are the foods that can damage your appliances. Once your treatment has been successfully completed, you will be able to go back to enjoying corn on the job and chewing on gum.
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 BY BRACES AND APPLIANCES
Once your braces are placed, you may experience some general soreness around your teeth and surrounding soft tissue. Soreness is a normal part of the process and should go away in a matter of days. However, you can also soothe the discomfort by making a saltwater rinse, just dissolve one teaspoon of salt into eight ounces of lukewarm water. You can then gargle and swish the saltwater rinse in your mouth for a few minutes, just be careful not to swallow the saltwater mixture.
If you experience more severe discomfort and rinsing does not help, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the discomfort. You may also notice that your braces irritate your lips, cheeks, and tongue, this is normal and should subside in a few weeks as your soft tissues have a chance to toughen. You can place some orthodontic wax over your braces to lessen the friction during this time.
After you begin treatment, you may notice that your teeth begin to loosen up, this is completely normal. As your braces begin to work, the teeth will become loose to move into the correct position. Once your teeth reach their final destination, they will no longer be loose.
LOOSE WIRES AND BANDS
During your entire treatment, it is not uncommon for your wires and bands to become loose. If this happens to you, call us to schedule an appointment to inspect and repair your braces. If any of your appliances come completely off, save it and bring it to your next appointment.
It is possible to fix a loose wire temporarily on your own. You can use the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire back into place. If the loose wire irritates your lips or cheeks, place wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve some of the discomforts.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR APPLIANCES
Damaged appliances do not work properly and can therefore prolong your treatment time. We encourage you to take care of your appliances and follow all of Dr. Dunn’s recommendations to achieve the best results in the least amount of time possible.
PLAYING SPORTS WITH BRACES
Do you play sports? The good news, you’ll be able to continue playing them while participating in your orthodontic treatment. We recommend that you wear a mouthguard while engaging in any contact sports to protect your teeth and orthodontic gear. Let Dr. Dunn know if you need assistance selecting the right mouthguard for you.
If you experience a sports emergency, check your mouth and orthodontic gear for damage immediately. If you identify any loose teeth or damage to your orthodontic gear during your inspection, please call our office as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can apply wax and rinse your mouth using warm salt water