Braces are a big step in life and it’s important to know how to make the most of them. So how do you take care of this great investment throughout treatment?
Eating with Braces
While we know that there are many things that you enjoy to eat, treatment will move along much quicker if you are more aware of the things that you eat. Certain foods or habits can cause parts of the braces to break, thereby making treatment take longer and delaying the big day that you get them removed.
Foods to avoid with braces:
When in doubt, avoid eating anything that would fall into one of these categories:
*sugarfree gum that is not too sticky or hard is okay
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
Soreness caused from braces and appliances
Everyone’s body responds differently to braces. You have likely heard stories that they are painful. With today’s technology, we are able to control forces on the teeth and keep them light. However, the body is used to the position that the teeth have been and we are now pushing them to move them elsewhere.
The first difference you will feel is pressure. It is important to learn to differentiate between pressure and pain, they are different. Within a few hours of first getting your braces, that pressure will then start to become painful for some. This is why it is important to plan pain relief before you already feel it. The best results come from alternating 600mg of Ibuprofen, waiting 6 hours, then taking 600mg of acetaminophen, waiting 6 hours, and then starting over. Generally about 2 days of this regimen will suffice. The first dose should be taken right before you get your braces on.
Again, everybody responds differently. Some report no soreness at all and others say it was sore for almost 1 week. Usually 2-3 days is normal. This type of soreness hardly ever occurs with your monthly adjustments. If you are ever unsure about how sore you are feeling, please contact our office immediately.
It is also common for the lips and cheeks to rub on the braces for a week or two as they adapt. We will provide you with wax when you get your braces on to help smooth the surfaces and lessen the tenderness as you get used to them. Please let us know if you need some wax.
It is normal for the teeth to feel a little loose, they are moving! This is a natural part of bone reformation as they move into the correct position. Once they have been moved to where they will stay, they will no longer be loose. If a particular tooth feels especially loose, please notify us quickly.
Loose Wires and Bands
Sometimes different parts of the braces may come loose, such as the wire or bands. Please contact us immediately if this happens so that things do not move incorrectly. This can happen very quickly and may require additional treatment time and costs. If anything comes out entirely, please save it and bring it to our office for your next appointment.
You can temporarily repair a loose wire by gently pushing the wire back into place with the eraser end of a pencil or by sliding the end of the wire over the back bracket. If it is causing irritation, place wax over it to relieve pain.
Playing Sports with Braces
What to do while playing sports is a common concern for patients. You can still do it! We recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth, mouth, and appliances. Our office can recommend different kind of mouthguards specifically made for braces. While some of these can be found in sporting goods stores, some work better than others. We also make custom mouthguards for the very best fit. Protect your mouth! Contact sports can cause permanent damage that will affect you your entire life.
If you do experience a sports-related emergency, be sure to seek the appropriate help immediately. Also check to see if any appliances have been damaged or loosened and contact our office quickly if such is the case. Use wax for relief as needed and consider rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.