Brushing and Flossing
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist before and during orthodontic treatment. Check out the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
For the first day or two after getting your braces or appliances, we recommend sticking to softer foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to eat most foods again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, pizza crust
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice
- Sticky foods: caramels, gum
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
When you get your braces on, you may feel some general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 – 5 days. Take Tylenol or whatever you normally take for a headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or bracket comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. The idea is to simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.
Rubber Band Wear
To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, you (the patient) must work together with Dr. Chadwell and team. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time… so please … follow instructions.
If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. We can recommend and provide a mouthguard for you when playing contact sports.