Congratulations – your braces are on and you’re excited to be headed toward a beautiful new smile! You have an important role in providing the best outcome – from how your teeth look at the end to how long treatment lasts. Taking care of your teeth and braces during treatment is an important part of the treatment process.
Eating with Braces
With traditional braces, there are some foods that you’ll need to avoid to ensure you don’t damage your brackets and wires. But you’ll be back to snacking on popcorn and potato chips in no time – we promise!
- Chewy foods, such as bagels, licorice and taffy
- Crunchy foods, such as popcorn, chips, ice cubes
- Sticky foods, such as caramel and gum
- Hard foods, such as nuts and crusty breads
- Foods that you have to bite into, like apples, carrots and corn on the cob.
But don’t worry, there are still plenty of things you can eat during your treatment. You can still enjoy your favorite dairy products, soft breads, grains, lean meats, seafood, steamed vegetables, and treats such as ice cream, milkshakes and Jell-O.
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
It’s normal to experience slight tenderness or discomfort during the first few days after getting your braces. To relieve the discomfort, we recommend gargling and swishing with saltwater for sore cheeks and lips, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever for tender teeth.
It may take a little while for the inside of your mouth to get used to the brackets and wires. In the meantime, use orthodontic wax on any areas that are irritated. We’re always happy to supply you with wax during your treatment.
If your teeth feel loose, don’t worry – it’s actually a good thing! This means they are moving to their new locations, and once they settle in, the bones and ligaments will secure them in their new places.
Loose Wires and Bands
Sometimes, brackets and wires can become loose. While not an emergency, you should call our office to schedule a repair. If anything falls off, save it and bring it with you to the appointment.
If a wire comes loose, use the eraser end of a pencil or the back of a spoon to gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire irritates you, place a wet cotton ball or wax over the wire.
Take Care of Your Appliances
If damaged appliances aren’t repaired in a timely manner, it can lengthen your time in braces. Be sure to take proper care of your appliances, and call our office if you have any problems.
It’s also important that you wear rubber bands, headgear, retainers or other appliances as directed by your orthodontists. We have created a treatment plan that will move your teeth to their ideal locations, but instructions need to be followed to keep you on track.
Playing Sports with Braces
Braces don’t have to keep you from playing your favorite sports. We recommend that all athletes wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth, lips, and orthodontic appliances. We can even create a custom-made mouthguard just for you.
If you experience an emergency while playing a sport, check your mouth and appliance for injury or damage. If you find loose teeth or a damaged appliance, call our office right away. Relieve discomfort by applying wax, rinsing with warm saltwater, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers as needed.
Contact Battistoni and Beam Orthodontics to achieve the highest quality of orthodontic treatment for your teen, no matter where you are. We offer services to La Grange, Oak Park, Elmwood Park, River Forest and Countryside, IL.