Caring for Braces

Braces create amazing smile transformations but they do require special attention when it comes to their care. Overall, it is not an overly complicated task but rather one that will take some getting used to. To help with the transition, we have created a guide below.

eating-with-braces

Eating with Braces

Sitting down to enjoy a meal may seem strenuous at first, you may also feel restricted by the list of foods you can eat. Just remember that this adjustment period will be the most difficult part of treatment because your teeth will be the most sensitive. Once you make it through the first few days, you will be back to enjoying your meals with minimal effort. During the first few days following treatment, we recommend eating foods that can be easily mashed. Stay away from any foods that are hard, sticky, crunchy, or generally tough for the entirety of your treatment.

There are some ways to get around some of the food restrictions by getting creative. You can start by cooking your crunchy vegetables to make them softer, removing the corn from the cob, and slicing foods into bite-sized pieces (this works wonderfully for sandwiches and apples for example).

If you are unsure about a certain food, call us to ask.

Foods to Avoid

  • Sticky – gum, caramel, tootsie rolls, peanut butter, toffee
  • Hard – apples, carrots, and other raw vegetables
  • Crunchy – popcorn, chips
  • Tough – bagels, corn on the cob, sandwiches, steak, ribs
soreness

General Soreness

The first days after you get your braces, you can expect to experience mild to moderate soreness. There is a simple explanation for this, the braces are placing pressure on your teeth causing the metal components to rub against the soft tissues of your mouth. You can use salt water rinses and over-the-counter pain relievers to alleviate the soreness. Another tip is to place dental wax over any sharp areas to reduce friction.

loose-teeth

Loose Wire, Bracket, or Band

If your wire is bendable and you have tweezers around the house, you can use these to push the wire back where it is comfortable. If your wire doesn’t bend or you don’t have tweezers, apply some dental wax to reduce the irritation. Wax can also be used as a makeshift glue to secure a bracket in place. Once you are done performing your temporary fix, give us a call to schedule a repair appointment.

If you are not experiencing any pain or discomfort, we may recommend that you wait until your next scheduled appointment to repair it. If you need a repair during your next appointment, please notify us ahead of time so that we can set aside the right amount of time for you.

loose-wire-bracket-band

Taking Care of your Teeth and Braces

Believe it or not, one of the most important components of a successful orthodontic treatment is keeping your gums and teeth healthy with excellent oral hygiene habits. Why? It’s simple, healthy teeth move better. Brushing and flossing are “must-have” elements of your oral care routine.

Brushing

To optimize your brushing routine, we recommend using an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes sound fancy but can be very affordable. If you decide not to use an electric toothbrush, that’s totally okay. Just remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush starting on the outside of your teeth and braces while placing the brush at a 45-degree angle. Next, brush along the top and bottom of your braces, checking the surface area to cover it all. Be sure to brush your back molars! Ideally, you should brush your teeth for three minutes at least twice a day but preferably following each meal.

Flossing

Another important part of your oral health routine is flossing! Flossing with braces will require a bit of an adjustment but it is not a difficult task. Our advice here is to start by threading the floss under the archwire, you can do this with a floss threader or using your fingers.

Start by pushing the floss from the top to the bottom of your upper teeth and the bottom to the top for your bottom teeth. Be sure to thread away from the gums. Once you successfully thread your floss, be sure to clean around each tooth and gum, move the floss up and down as you did before you had braces.