Once you have your braces placed, it is critical that you know how to take care of them. Damaged appliances deliver poor results, and you do not want to go through months of treatment only to be less than pleased with your smile. Here are the things you need to know to get the best result.

Eating with Braces

This is often the most difficult part of having braces. No one likes restricting themselves. But, for good results, it is a must. To help you figure out what to avoid, here are some foods that can damage your braces.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, taffy
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Okay, enough of the bad news. Let’s look at things you can eat.

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

Addressing Soreness From Braces

When your braces are first placed and after each adjustment, your teeth will feel sore and sensitive to bite pressure. This is normal. It happens due to the new or changed pressure on the teeth, which is what gets them to move.

Another soreness you may encounter is from the appliance rubbing the soft tissues of the mouth, creating irritation.

For both of these, you can use saltwater rinses. Over-the-counter pain medication is also okay to use. For irritation, cover the offended part of the appliance with dental wax until the tissues of the mouth toughen up.

Loose Teeth

Your teeth will feel loose during treatment. It can feel alarming, but do not worry—this is normal. For the teeth to move, the ligaments holding them in place must loosen, which results in teeth that can feel a little wiggly. After treatment finishes, all teeth will firm up in place.

Loose Wires and Bands

Wires and bands are likely to come loose at least once during treatment. When this happens, call us first. After we schedule an appointment to see you, you can attempt some at-home fixes that will make you more comfortable until we see you. These are:

  • For a loose wire, push it into place using the back of a spoon.
  • For a loose bracket, use dental wax to hold it in place.
  • For a bracket that has come off, save it and bring it to the appointment.
  • For a poking wire, clip it short enough to stop poking.

Take Care of Your Appliances

A damaged appliance does not deliver good results. That is why you need to take the best care of yours as possible. Follow our instructions and all should go well.