Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment. This will ensure that you have the the best possible experience as you move through the different stages of your treatment, and allow us the greatest opportunity to complete your treatment on time and achieve the best result possible.
Eating with Braces
Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and chewing gum 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. Broken brackets require additional appointments to repair which causes your overall time in treatment to be extended.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods – bagels, pizza crust
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, nacho chips, pita chips, ice
- Sticky foods – caramel, gummy bears, skittles, starburst, chewing gum
- Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots, which should be cut up, cooked, or shredded
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy – soft cheese, milk
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins
- 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, milkshakes, smoothies, pudding, 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 for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To help get you through this first stage, we will give you a gift card for an Ashley’s milkshake! We think Ashley’s makes everything better, but if you still need a little more relief, remember to keep your diet soft for the first few days, and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed for pain relief.
It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen up and become used to the braces. We will supply you with soft wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need more wax, we will be happy to provide it for you. You can get it directly from us during office hours, or pick it up from the Orthodontic Supply box on the front of the building any time!
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry, this is normal and may continue off and on during your treatment. Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the correct position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Brackets
The wires and brackets that make up your braces may occasionally loosen or break. Typically we see this in cases when foods that are hard or sticky have been eaten, or sports related injuries have occurred. If this happens, the first thing to remember is, DON’T PANIC! Broken brackets and wires happen from time to time. We understand this and are prepared to address it. In most instances, your next regularly scheduled appointment can be moved to accommodate the repair, it would simply need to be rescheduled to provide sufficientÂ time for the correction.
Since you may be uncomfortable, we recommend that you cover the loose bracket or wire with the soft wax that we gave you when your braces were first put on. Remember that the area should be dried off as much as possible before the wax is applied. It does fall off fairly easily, so keep the wax handy so that you can reapply as needed. This should do the trick until we see you at your next appointment when the repair will be done.
Once you are comfortable, please contact us so that we can make the necessary changes to your next planned appointment. Patty will be happy to help you with that. Damaged appliances can increase the length of time that your treatment requires, so be sure to take care of all your appliances, limit breakage, and notify us of any needed repairs.
If a more serious injury has occurred, don’t hesitate to contact us right away. We will get you in ASAP to make you comfortable.
Your teeth and jaws can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands as prescribed by Dr. Remington. A typical schedule for elastic wear is 24/7 (including eating) with the only exceptions including brushing and any sport that requires a mouthguard. Anything less than that, and you should be expecting to need the braces to take longer to accomplish their goals, or even the possibility that we may fall short of those goals. Think of the braces as the part that straightens the teeth and the elastics as the part that corrects the bite. Together they form a team. Let’s get a win!
A new package of elastics will be provided for you at each visit. If for any reason, you need another package, please don’t hesitate to request one from us. If you come after office hours, they can be found in the Orthodontic Supply box on the front of the building. There are several different sizes and types of elastics available, be sure to take the correct elastic package from the box.
The big day has finally arrived! Your braces have been removed and you have a beautiful smile! Our team is almost as excited as you are! We are actually going to give you gum (finally!) and a gigantic cupcake to celebrate! You’re done, right?
Well, yes and no. Yes, your treatment is complete, but your retention is only just beginning. If you want to maintain that beautiful new smile for a lifetime, you must wear your retainers (for a lifetime). Teeth have a “memory” of the places that they started from, and our biology is constantly trying to help them get back there.
There are a number of retention options available to our patients, including both removable, most often used for the upper teeth, and fixed (permanent), most often used for the lower teeth. Dr. Remington will review your options so that the most ideal situation is set up for your retention. Wearing your retainers as prescribed by Dr. Remington is just as critical to your smile as the braces were.
Brushing Your Teeth with Braces
When you have braces it’s very important to brush after every meal and floss daily in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. On the day that your braces go on, you will receive a Crest kit which includes a state of the art Oral B electric toothbrush, Crest mouth rinse and toothpaste, and flossers. Using these as directed by Dr. Remington is vital to maintaining the health of your teeth, both during and after treatment. It is also important to maintain a regular schedule of appointments with your dentist during treatment. These are typically scheduled every six months, but the number of visits can be increased as needed to maintain good oral health.
Playing Sports with Braces
Game, Set, Match – we have great news for athletes! You can continue to play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth, jaws, and your appliances. Dr. Remington recommends the ShockDoctor mouthguard made specifically for patients in braces and will provide you with one when you begin treatment.