Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice, taffy,
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
You may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore in the first few day after your braces. This is normal and we promise your mouth won’t be sore forever! To relieve the pain, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle in your mouth for a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can take an over the counter pain reliever. As your mouth gets used to the braces, your lips, cheeks, and tongue may be irritated for one to two weeks. Orthodontic wax can be used on your braces in the areas that are the most tender. Simply ask at your appointment and we’d be happy to supply you with wax.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
It is possible for the wires and bands on your braces to become loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Take Care of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of them. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.
Playing Sports with Braces
Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater
The Oak Park and La Grange orthodontists at Battistoni and Beam Orthodontics provide the highest quality orthodontic treatment. From stylish colored braces to Invisalign, no matter what your orthodontic issue is, our team is here to help. We strive to provide cutting edge, caring and affordable orthodontics in La Grange, Countryside, Oak Park, Elmwood Park, River Forest and the surrounding area. Dr Battistoni and Dr Beam are committed to ensuring every patient has an exceptional experience on their way to their dream smile.