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 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 promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also 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.
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 as soon as possible 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.
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 your doctor.
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 to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard 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.
Instruction for Invisalign Patients
Congratulations on the start of your orthodontic treatment. You are on the road to having straight teeth and a correct bite. Here are some guidelines that we recommend you follow while you continue your Invisalgin treatment:
When first removing aligners from the package, rinse under cold water before inserting in your mouth.
Each aligner is to be worn 22 hrs/day until you change into the next set.We will instruct you on how many days you will be in each aligner.If you haven’t been able to make 22 hrs/day in the instructed time, you can extend wearing the aligner a day or two longer.Before you switch to the next aligner make sure the aligner is fully seated (no air space between the aligner and your teeth) and can be placed without any pressure.
Most of the movement occurs in the first 48 hrs of wear.You want to insert your next aligner in the evening after your last meal to allow it to stay in the mouth for a longer period of time.
Sometimes when you first insert your aligner, they may not feel like they fit right.Use the chewies to help engage aligners and they should fit better as you continue with wear.
You can eat light snacks while wearing your aligners but want to keep in mind that foods with staining properties may discolour the aligners.
Use ha hard bristle tooth brush to clean the aligner with cold water and hand soap.Avid using tooth paste or baking soda as they can be abrasive and scratch the aligners.
If your aligner has a rough edge you can use an emery board or nail file to smooth the surface.We will provide you with orthodontic wax to use if aligners are irritating inside of lips or tongue.If you are unable to smooth the aligner, please contact our office and we will be happy to smooth it for you.
Like all orthodontic treatment, the aligners may temporarily affect your speech.You may have ta lisp for the first week or so.Once your tongue gets used to having the aligners in your mouth any lisp or minor speech impediment should disappear.
Check the attachments on your teeth every day to ensure that they are all present.IF one is lost or broken call the office and we will schedule an appointment to replace it.
We recommend that you keep your old aligners by storing them in the numbered package they came in.
If the aligner breaks while in the 2 week period try in the next aligner.If the next aligner is wearable, continue with that aligner for a full 2 weeks.If it is not wearable comfortably please contact the office.
If you have been instructed to wear elastics during your orthodontic treatment, please wear as prescribed to achieve the full results.If not compliant, you may prolong your treatment length.