Life with Braces

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.

Eating with Braces

Don’t worry, you’ll be eating pizza and snacking on pretzels again in no time! However, as you enjoy most of the foods 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 – licorice, Swedish fish
  • Crunching ice cubes
  • Sticky foods – caramel, fruit roll-ups, gummy bears
  • Hard foods – hard candies
  • Foods to cut into bite sized pieces – corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Sodas of all kinds, even artificially sweetened
  • Chewing Gum is A-OK! Sugarless preferred.
  • We want you to continue to eat a healthy balanced diet while in braces. If there is anything we can do to help you enjoy eating, please let us know.

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 on and we promise your mouth will not be sore for long! To relieve discomfort, we recommend Tylenol or ibuprofen following the instructions printed by the manufacturer.

It is not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know!

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry, this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

Loose Wires and Bands

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and gently push the irritating wire. Simply get it out of the way. You may also use cleaned wire cutters from your tool box at home to clip and remove any poking wires or brackets.

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 can only move into their correct positions if your braces are in tact. If Dr. Phucas prescribes for you to wear rubber bands or another appliance, your teeth will move to the desired position if you wear them consistently. Straight teeth is a team effort!

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’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection. Shock Doctor mouth guards can be purchased in our office as well as in most sporting goods stores.

In case of a sports emergency, check your mouth and your braces for any damage that may have occurred. For your comfort, you may use wax or remove any broken wires and brackets with clean wire cutters at home. Your comfort is the priority. We will happily replace any broken brackets or wires from the accident. If you notice any loose or broken teeth or have jaw pain as a result of the sports emergency, please contact your family dentist right away. You may be able to temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax and Tylenol or ibuprofen.