Life With Braces

life-with-braces
Team Popp 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 most of the things you like in no time! However, you will need to take care to avoid or be extra careful with any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Foods that can damage braces:

  • Sticky foods — caramel & taffy-like candy, gum
  • Hard or Crunchy foods — ice, hard candy, nuts
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Carbonated soft drinks- limited
  • Acidic juices- limited

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

Some foods you like may just require smaller bites or extra care chewing.

  • 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 vegetables, 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!

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. Place some wax over the braces that are irritating you to lessen the tenderness. To also help relieve mouth irritation, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

For tooth soreness and the discomfort caused by tooth movement you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Softer foods can also help during this time of temporary soreness.

Loose teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Teeth feel loose during tooth movement and will tighten back up when movement is complete.

Broken wires and brackets

Breakage is usually from eating hard, crunchy or sticky items that damage or loosen the braces. You can avoid most problems by following recommended guidelines. If something is loose or broken 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 carefully and gently pushing the wire back into place. A pencil eraser or similar item works well for this. If part of the braces is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the offending area to cover it.

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, 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.

If the injury is significant please seek emergency room help or call your dentist for displaced teeth.

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