Life with Braces

Now that you have braces on your teeth your probably asking, how do I take care of these things? That’s a great question, because it’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces all the way to the end of your orthodontic treatment.

Eating with braces

This is probably the #1 question that most patients want to know about when talking about braces. Well, don’t worry; you’ll be eating all the things you love (taffy, bagels, chips and hard candies) sooner than you realize. While you have your braces on your teeth though you do need to take very special care of them and avoid any of the foods that could damage or cause them to come off your teeth.

 

Foods you should avoid while you have your braces:

  • Hard foods- hard candy, nuts, pretzels, corn on the cob, etc…

  • Crunchy foods- ice, chips, popcorn, apples, carrots, etc…

  • Sticky foods- chewing gum, taffy, caramel candies, etc…

  • Chewy foods- licorice, bagels, pizza crusts, etc…

 

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • SOFT Breads, cheese, or muffins without nuts

  • SOFT pastas, mashed potatoes, cooked rice, SOFT cooked vegetables

  • SOFT ice cream without nuts or chocolate chips

  • SOFT cooked meats, meatballs, lunch meats

Are you seeing a theme here? Keep it SOFT!

 

Soreness from braces and appliances

This is the 2nd most asked question about living with braces and it is perfectly normal to notice that your mouth will be a little tender or sore once you get your braces put on your teeth. But what you need to know is that this will not be the case for long! This soreness generally is at its worse 24hrs after placement of braces and after each adjustment but after the first 24hrs that quickly goes away returning your life to normal.

Generally we suggest not taking pain relievers during this time of soreness because some pain relievers could actually reduce the amount of movement your teeth have. But of course, if the soreness is severe after an adjustment or does not go away after a few days taking a pain reliever is not the end of the world and we actually encourage it!

 

Taking care of all your appliances:

So why do you want to take VERY good care of your braces or any of the appliances used during your orthodontic treatment? Well, damaging your braces or having a lot of braces come off your teeth unnecessarily can increase your treatment time, sometimes significantly, and who wants to be in braces longer than they need to be.

Along with keeping your braces in good shape and on your teeth is also making sure that you are brushing very well all around each of brackets and wires. This helps your teeth look their very best once we take your braces off. This also allows your teeth and gums to remain as healthy as possible throughout your entire orthodontic treatment. Sometimes when teeth are not being kept very clean the braces and wires need to be removed and a good cleaning needs to be done to allow the teeth and gums to heal and then the braces can be placed back on the teeth and orthodontic treatment can continue. This of course increases the time you have your braces and of course we don’t want that.

In addition to the braces and wires you will have during your orthodontic treatment Drs. David and Ethan Drake sometimes need you to wear additional appliances (like rubber bands and/or retainers) to move your teeth and jaws into their correct position. If you consistently wear these additional appliances as the doctors prescribe your treatment should move along just fine, and you should not have these additional appliances for all that long. But once again if these appliances are not worn correctly treatment time could increase or treatment results could not end with the most ideal result possible.

 

Playing sports with braces:

Of course you can, go for it! Just remember we recommend you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and braces whenever your playing sports. Just ask us about how to wear the correct mouth guard for the best protection while still allowing your teeth to move for orthodontic treatment.

In case of an emergency, be sure that you immediately check your mouth and appliances for any damage and if you notice any damaged braces or loose teeth, please contact us immediately.