Congratulations! You have your new braces, and you’re on your way to the smile of your dreams!
There is a lot more to orthodontic treatment than just having braces installed. You have to care for those braces throughout your treatment, as well as care for your teeth.
Don’t worry! At Freeman Orthodontics, we are ready to answer any questions you may have, from food restrictions to proper brushing and flossing.
Do Eat This With Braces
Great news! You’ll be able to enjoy many of your favorite foods during treatment with braces. You’ll need to avoid some foods for now, but don’t worry! You’ll be back to eating them in no time and with straight teeth!
What foods can you eat with braces? Here are a few options:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Soft bread — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins with no 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
- Fruit — applesauce, bananas, fruit juices
- Soft treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Don’t Eat This With Braces
You can still eat a lot of your favorite foods, but there are a few you’ll want to avoid for now. These foods can damage your braces, so don’t eat them until your braces are removed.
Here are a few foods to avoid:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, tortilla chips, ice
- Sticky foods — gum, caramel candies
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting with front teeth — apples, carrots, corn on the cob
It’s not as much as it seems, and there are still plenty of foods you can enjoy!!
Do Treat the Discomfort
Time for a little hard truth: In the first week or so, your mouth may get a little sore as it adjusts to having braces for the first time. If it does happen, it should only last a couple of days before it improves. This is normal! After all, something normally fixed in your mouth is suddenly being made to move.
If the soreness becomes too uncomfortable, there are a few things you can do to help.
- Saltwater Rinse: Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into eight ounces of lukewarm water, rinse your mouth and gums well with the saltwater, then spit it out.
- Painkillers: An over-the-counter painkiller, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can be taken if the saltwater rinse doesn’t bring enough relief.
Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may be sensitive for the first week or two. They will toughen up and adjust over time. If needed, you can reduce tenderness by using dental wax (not any other kind of wax!) over the brackets, causing irritation.
If you need dental wax, call us! We’re happy to provide some!
Don’t Worry About Loose Teeth
During the first few days after getting your braces, you may feel like you have a few loose teeth. Don’t worry! That’s all part of the process.
Your teeth have to loosen to move into place. Once they move into position, they should tighten right back up.
You may feel your teeth are looser after orthodontist visits when your braces are tightened, as well. Again, this is normal. If the looseness persists or is extreme, give Freeman Orthodontics a call.
Do Have Loose Wires and Bands Fixed
Sooner or later during treatment, it will happen – a wire or band will come loose or break. Maybe it didn’t quite sit right; maybe you bonked your mouth, maybe you thought you could get away with sneaking a bite of that Payday candy bar. Whatever the case, it’s possible your braces will need repair at some point.
If this happens, don’t panic. Contact us as soon as you can, and we can work you in to check and repair your braces. Be sure to save any piece that comes off and bring it in with you.
If the issue is a wire sticking out, it can be fixed temporarily by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire back into place carefully and gently. If the loose wire is irritating your cheek or lips, cover the broken end with wax or a wet cotton ball to relieve the pain. Come into Freeman Orthodontics as soon as possible so we can fix the problem.
Do Follow the Rules
Treatment with braces often means more than what’s installed in your mouth. It can include the use of rubber bands, headgear, retainers, and other appliances. Your orthodontist will give you instructions on what to wear and when. It’s crucial you follow those instructions!
Sure, it may not be fun to wear your headgear at night, but not wearing it could prolong your treatment time. The more you follow the rules, the faster your treatment will go, and the better your results.
Do Brush and Floss Regularly
Once you get your new braces, you may take a look at them and think, “how in the world am I going to brush and floss around these?” You need to do both during your treatment to avoid tooth decay and maintain good oral health.
It’s easier than you think, and we can give you instructions on how to do it quickly and effectively. We can help you choose the right toothbrush, the right toothpaste, even the right dental floss and flossing tool to make it easier to use around your braces!
So if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. We’ve got your back!
Don’t Play Sports Without a Mouthguard
Playing sports with braces can be a little bit tricky. It’s never fun to get bonked in the mouth with a ball, but it’s definitely no fun with braces. Aside from the damage that metal can do to your lips, damaging your braces could complicate your treatment.
The best solution is a simple one – wear a mouthguard. A mouthguard will protect your teeth and braces from damage should you get hit.
If you do get hit without a mouth guard, immediately check your braces for any damage. If you find loose teeth or damaged braces, contact Freeman Orthodontics right away! You can relieve any discomfort temporarily by rinsing with warm salt water or using wax to cover breaks.
Do Give Freeman Orthodontics a Call
Wearing braces is a unique experience, and for some, it can be a little intimidating. Rest assured, if you have any questions or concerns about your braces, you can call Freeman Orthodontics, and we’ll be able to answer your questions.
If you don’t have braces and you’re interested in orthodontic treatment, schedule a free consult or give us a call! We’re proud to serve the San Jose, CA, region!