Brushing and Flossing
Dental hygiene is always important, but its significance is amplified while receiving orthodontic treatment. Keeping your gums and teeth healthy is a crucial step in the process. 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 during orthodontic treatment. The two videos below will give you insight into the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
For the first day or so, you will want to stick to soft foods, avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Within a short period of time, you’ll be able to find more of a normal routine, but you will need to protect your braces while eating for as long as you are in treatment.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- 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 the braces. Damaging your braces will result in extended treatment time, making it a much longer and more difficult process to achieve the smile that you want.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth for about 3-5 days. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or whatever you normally take for headaches or discomfort is recommended to help with the soreness. Your 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. This is a normal occurrence as teeth must loosen before they can move. The teeth will firm up again in their new, corrected positions after treatment is completed.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band 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 to help 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, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. 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.
If you play sports, it’s important that you let us know. A protective mouthguard is provided for playing contact sports.