In order for your orthodontic treatment to progress efficiently and effectively, you must look after them very carefully. Here is a list of some common questions our patients have when starting their treatment:
How do I eat with my braces?
You donít have to worry too much, you will be back to eating popcorn and snacking on crunchy potato chips. However, before you get back to your old ways, you will need to take special care to avoid certain foods that may cause damage to your new appliances.
What foods should I avoid with braces?
Foods to avoid while wearing braces include:
- sticky foods like caramel, candies, and gum;
- hard foods like nuts and candies;
- crunchy foods like potato chips and ice;
- chewy foods like licorice and bagels.
You may also need to cut up or slice foods that require biting into, such as corn on the cob, carrots, and apples.
What foods can I eat while wearing braces?
Foods you can eat while successfully wearing braces include:
What can I do for the initial soreness when the braces are first placed?
- soft meats and poultry, such as deli meats, soft cooked chicken, and meatballs;
- breads such as tortillas and pancakes;
- fruits such as bananas, oranges, and sliced apples;
- seafood such as salmon, deep fried cod, and crab cakes;
- treats like cake, ice cream, and milkshakes;
- dairy such as milk-based drinks and cheese;
- vegetables such as cucumbers, green leafy vegetables, and beans.
You may notice that just after you have initially received your braces, your teeth, cheeks and lips may feel a little sore or tender. This soreness is completely normal and temporary.
The best way to improve your comfort during these first few weeks is to place the wax provided directly over the brackets or wire that seems to be causing the discomfort. This smooths out the rough area and should provide some relief. Another helpful hint to relieve this soreness is to dissolve some salt in warm water and swish it around in your mouth. Repeat this a few times each day.
If the discomfort is more severe and you have tried using wax and rinsing with salt water, you may wish to use an over-the-counter painkiller (Tylenol or Advil). Of course, do not hesitate to contact our office at any point if you are experiencing significant pain as this is not to be expected.
My teeth feel loose and wiggly. Is this normal?
Yes. The light forces applied to your teeth from the archwire slightly widen the narrow ligament space between the teeth and the bone surrounding them which then allows the tooth to move. Once all of the teeth have been correctly positioned, your braces will be removed and retainers provided to stabilize your teeth in their new location over several months. This will eliminate the wiggling.
What should I do if a bracket becomes loose or the archwire is poking?
This is quite common and may not need to be addressed immediately, depending on what happened. Please call our office as soon as possible and we can either put your mind at ease if it is something that can just wait until the next scheduled appointment, or schedule an emergency appointment to inspect and repair the problem. If any part of your appliance comes off, make sure to keep it in a safe place and bring it with you to your next appointment.
Sometimes it is possible to fix a loose wire temporarily by using the eraser end of a pencil or back of a spoon to push the wire back into position. If the loose wire happens to cause any irritations to your cheeks and lips, place some wax over the broken wire to help relieve any discomfort.
How should I take care of my appliances?
The two most important points to remember during your orthodontic treatment to ensure the best result are (1) keep your appliances and teeth clean, and (2) wear all appliances as directed by the orthodontist and staff.
The overall treatment length can be dramatically lengthened if your oral hygiene is less than ideal and if appliances are mistreated, damaged, or broken. Therefore, it is in your best interest to take very good care of your teeth and gums during and following orthodontic treatment with regular and effective brushing and flossing. Also make sure you wear your appliances, elastic bands, retainer, or any other oral appliance that is prescribed by your orthodontist so your teeth and jaws can move into their desired locations.
Can I continue to play sports if I wear braces?
Yes. You will be able to continue playing sports during orthodontic treatment. If your sport or activity is not overly physical and doesnít normally warrant wearing a mouth guard, then you can usually continue playing just the same as if you didnít have braces on. If the sport is more physical and does usually require a mouth guard, inform the doctor and staff so we can assist you with choosing an ortho-specific guard that best protects your teeth and braces.
If you do suffer a sports injury, be sure to inspect your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any damage or loose teeth, please contact our office right away. To help temporarily relieve any discomfort, rinse your mouth with warm salt water and apply wax to areas that need it.