Now that you are wearing braces, you want to how to care for them properly. Thorough care is critical throughout your entire orthodontic treatment to keep your braces looking and performing at their very best.
Eating with Braces
You can eat lots of your favorite foods with braces. However, some foods should be avoided, as eating them can damage your new appliances. They may also be difficult to remove from between your teeth.
Foods to avoid include:
- Chewy Foods: Taffy, bagels & licorice
- Crunchy Foods: Ice, chips, & popcorn
- Sticky Foods: Caramel candies & chewing gum
- Hard Foods: Nuts & Hard Candies
- Foods That Require Biting: Corn on the Cob, Carrots & Apples
What can you eat with braces?
- Dairy: Soft cheeses, milk-based drinks & pudding
- Bread: Soft tortillas, muffins (w/o nuts) & soft tortillas
- Grains: Pasta and soft, cooked rice
- Meats & Poultry: Tender chicken, meatballs & lunch meats
- Seafood: Tuna, crab cakes & salmon
- Vegetables: Steamed spinach, mashed potatoes & beans
- Fruits: Fruit juice, applesauce & bananas
- Treats: Milkshakes, Jell-O, ice cream (w/o nuts) & soft cake
Soreness Caused by Braces
Some pain may be felt in the mouth and jaw area for the first few days of wearing braces, but this is completely normal and will soon pass. To relieve any pain, dissolve a teaspoon of salt into eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle with the solution for a few minutes, then rinse. Do not swallow the saltwater!
If you feel more severe pain, an over-the-counter pain reliever should help. As your mouth acclimates to braces, your lips, cheeks, and tongue may experience some irritation for up to two weeks. Ask your orthodontist for orthodontist wax that can be applied to the areas of your mouth that are the most tender.
What if Your Teeth Feel Loose?
Loose teeth are also normal while wearing braces. Your braces must loosen your teeth to move them into the desired positions. Your teeth will no longer feel loose when your teeth are properly aligned.
Loose Wires and Bands
Some wires and bands can become loose during treatment. If this happens, contact our office as soon as possible so that we can diagnose and repair your appliance. If any piece breaks free of your appliance, save it and bring it to the office with you.
You might be able to fix the loose wire by using an eraser or the back part of a spoon to guide the wire back into place. If the loose wire is digging into your lips or cheeks, wax or a wet cotton ball placed over the broken wire should provide relief.
Proper Appliance Care
Damaged appliances can cause treatment to last longer than originally intended. For this reason, take the utmost to ensure that your appliance is well taken care of and that you are following all of your orthodontist’s instructions. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their proper positions if you wear the rubber bands, retainer, headgear, and all other appliances recommended by your doctor.
Braces and Playing Sports
Athletes will be pleased to learn that you can still play your favorite sports while wearing braces. You should consider getting a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance. Let your orthodontist know if you need help finding the ideal mouth guard for the sport you play.
If you do experience a sports emergency, check your mouth and appliance for damage right away. If teeth are loose or there is appliance damage, contact our office immediately. You can temporarily relieve any discomfort you feel with orthodontist wax or by rinsing with a solution of warm salt water.
For an exceptional patient experience and to get started on your way to your dream smile, call or email the Oak Park and La Grange orthodontists at Battistoni and Beam Orthodontics today. For the highest quality orthodontic treatment, from stylish colored braces to near-transparent Invisalign, our team will strive to provide you with cutting edge and affordable orthodontics in La Grange, Oak Park, River Forest, Countryside, Elmwood Park, and the surrounding areas.