Now that you have started your orthodontic care, it is important that you know how to care for your braces. There are going to be some changes in your normal routines for the duration of your treatment
Eating While You Have Braces
One of the biggest changes to your daily routine will be the change in your diet. There are some foods that can damage your braces and cause delays in your treatment. You will need to take care to avoid eating these foods so that your treatment is as effective as possible. Just remember, a straight, beautiful smile will be worth it when your treatment is finished.
Please avoid any sticky foods like caramels or gummy bears. Stay away from hard foods like nuts and pizza crusts, as well as crunchy foods like popcorn and pretzels. Chewing gum and taffy are also off limits. Raw, hard fruits and vegetables such as apples and corn on the cob can also cause damage to your orthodontic appliances. Some suggestions of soft foods you can eat are bananas, yogurt, soft crackers or cookies, mashed potatoes, melons, grapes, peanut butter and jelly on soft bread, pasta, rice, soft cheese, lunch meat, ground beef, beans, ice cream, milkshakes, and jello.
Soreness or Discomfort When Starting Treatment
You may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little sore when you first get your braces. This is normal and normally will go away with time. Your teeth and mouth are just getting used to the new directions that the braces and appliances are giving them. In most cases gargling a solution made from one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water will help relieve the pain. Swish this around in your mouth and gargle for about two minutes. Spit all of the saltwater after gargling. Do NOT swallow the saltwater. If the pain does not go away with rinsing, you may need to try taking a mild pain reliever like ibuprofen. Your lips, cheeks and tongue may also get irritated in the first few weeks as they get used to the braces and wires. In most cases, we can provide you with some wax to cover the braces to keep them from rubbing and getting tender or sore. Call our office if you are having any issues or concerns or if you need some wax!
Teeth That Feel Loose
You may notice that your teeth feel a little loose as you work through your treatment. The braces must first loosen your teeth before they can be moved to the correct position. Once the teeth have been moved to the desired location and position, they will no longer feel loose.
Broken or Loose Wires and Bands
Sometimes your bands and wires may break or come loose. Please contact our office as soon as possible if this happens. We will want to check and repair your appliance to ensure that your treatment continues without delays. If any piece completely breaks off, please save it and bring it with you to your next appointment. In some cases, you can fix a loose wire using the eraser end of a pencil to carefully push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is poking your cheek or causing irritation, use some wax or a wet cotton ball to cover the broken wire.
Your Role in Treatment
Orthodontic treatment requires a commitment from you in order to achieve the best results. Damaged appliances from eating the wrong foods or negligence can result in an increased treatment time. Your jaw and teeth can only move into the desired position if you are consistently wearing your bands, retainer, or other appliances that have been recommended by Dr. Rohani.
Having braces doesn’t mean that you have to stop playing sports! With the proper protection, you can still practice and play the sports that you love. We recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth as well as your appliances while you are playing. Let Dr. Rohani know if you need a mouthguard, and he will explain your options for finding the guard that is right for you.