Once you have braces, it is really important that you know how to take good care of them as they will reward you with a great smile when their work is done.
Eating with braces
This is the time for sensible eating habits. Remember that this is only for a short while and it’s a small price to pay when you think of the end result. It won’t be that long before you can happily share some popcorn with friends or snack on some of your favorite potato chips, but it is sensible to take extra care to avoid eating any foods that could end up damaging your appliances.
The list of foods that are best to avoid while you have braces is thankfully a lot smaller than the list of food that you can still enjoy with causing any problems to your braces if you are careful.
- Foods that are particularly chewy, like soft bagels and licorice
- Crunchy foods, like popcorn and chips
- Sticky foods, like caramel candies and chewing gum
- Hard foods, like nuts and some candies
- Foods that require biting into, like corn on the cob, apples or raw carrots.
- Dairy products, like soft cheese and milk-based drinks
- Breads, including pancakes, soft tortillas and muffins (without nuts)
- Grains, such as pasta and rice
- Seafood, like tuna, salmon and crab cakes
- Vegetables, such as steamed spinach, mashed potatoes and beans.
- Fruits, like bananas, and fruit juice
- Treats, like Jell-O and ice cream.
In the first days of your life with braces, you will probably notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender and sore, but there is no need to be concerned as this is perfectly normal and the soreness will only last for a very short while.
If you want to take the edge of any initial pain that you are feeling, we suggest that you try dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water, which you can then gargle in your mouth (but don’t swallow!).
If the pain is more severe and you feel that you need a bit more help, try taking a painkiller. We are also always happy to offer you a special wax that you can put over your braces to reduce the tenderness if your cheeks, lips and tongue have become irritated by the braces.
This irritation could last for up to two weeks while everything in and around your braces gets used to sharing a space and the wax can help with this, along with the saltwater and a painkiller.
Loose teeth worries
You may feel that your teeth have begun to feel a little looser since you had the braces put in. This is not your imagination, as they will actually be loosened by the braces in order to move them into the correct position
This is all perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose wires and bands
It is possible that the wires and bands on your braces become loose. if you notice this has happened, call us as soon as you can because we will need to check and repair your appliance if required.
In the unlikely event that any piece of your appliance comes off, put it in a safe place before bringing it into the office for us to deal with and replace. if you have a problem with a loose wire, there is a temporary fix that you can apply in these circumstances which involves using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into position.
if this loose wire is causing you irritation, trying putting some wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire in order to provide some instant pain relief.
Avoiding damage to your appliance
Any damage to your appliance could potentially increase the length of time required for your treatment process, so it makes sense to look after all of your appliances.
Remember that your teeth and jaw are only going to be able to move into their correct position with consistent use of all appliances prescribed for your treatment, including headgear, rubber bands and retainers.
Carrying on with your sports activities
Life with your new braces takes a small amount of adjustment – such as what foods you can eat and what foods you should avoid – but the great news for athletic patients is that you will still be able to carry on with your normal sports activities while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
A sensible precaution is to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance; ask for guidance if you are not sure which one to choose so you get the best level of protection. If you suffer any damage during your sporting activities, get in touch with us straight away so that we can assess the damage and determine if it’s necessary to repair or replace any appliance.