All About Braces

Brushing and Flossing

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums remain healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for professional cleanings. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

In order to keep your treatment on schedule and avoid damage by bending or breaking wires, loosening brackets or bands, certain foods should be avoided. If you are unsure about foods that you enjoy eating, ask us.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice, taffy
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum, gummy bears
  • Hard foods: nuts, hard candy or frozen candy bars
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots (cut hard fruits and veggies into bite size pieces and chew on the molars)
  • Limit the amount of soda and fruit drinks with sugar.

Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressure for 3 – 5 days. Take Tylenol or whatever you normally take for headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. Should this occur rinse with warm salt water by placing on teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water. 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. Don’t worry, it’s normal. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed.

Loose Bracket or Wire

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose, this happens occasionally. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax on the bracket to reduce the annoyance. If a wire sticks out and is irritating or a bracket becomes loose please contact our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.

Rubber Band Wear

To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, oral hygiene and patient cooperation with the orthodontist is important. 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 treatment time. The success of treatment depends upon all of us working as a team and sharing responsibilities.

Athletics

If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. We will provide a protective mouth guard to protect your mouth from injury. The molded type available in stores should not be used during treatment.