Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? Dr. Nardone feels that it is important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
EATING WITH BRACES
Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
• Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
• Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
• Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
• Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
• Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
• Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
• Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without 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
• Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
• Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we can assure you your mouth will not be sore for long! To relieve the discomfort, we recommend taking pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become slightly irritated for one to two weeks as they adapt to the braces. We will supply you with some ortho wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
LOOSE WIRES AND BANDS
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you. In most cases a loose wire or broken bracket is not an urgent situation, but we would like to see you in the near future to repair the problem.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR APPLIANCES
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Nardone.
PLAYING SPORTS WITH BRACES
Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it is sometimes recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.