In your first week of wearing braces, you will learn some new habits that will become second-nature as time goes by. Stick to soft foods for the first day or so, avoiding raw vegetables, tough meats, and crusty bread. Don’t worry: you’ll be able to eat many of your favorite foods again in no time! However, for the length of your orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods: gummy bears, bagels, beef jerky
- Crunchy foods: hard candy, nuts, pretzels, apples
- Sticky foods: taffy, caramel, gum
- Hard foods: ice, suckers, carrots
- Chewing on hard things like pens, water bottles or soda caps will damage your braces, causing your treatment to take longer.
You may experience initial soreness upon beginning treatment. Your teeth will probably be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. If you experience soreness, try rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. Simply dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse thoroughly. In case of severe tenderness, take whatever medication you would normally take for headache.
Your tongue, lips, and cheeks will take some time to become accustomed to the surface of the braces and may may also become irritated for one to two weeks. Try waxing the braces to lessen this. We’re happy to show you how to do it!
Loosening of Teeth
Your teeth will loosen throughout treatment. This is normal! Teeth must loosen before they can move. After straightening, the teeth will become fixed in their new positions.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t worry if a wire or band comes loose – it happens on occasion.
If a protruding wire is irritating your mouth, use a blunt instrument like the back of a spoon to gently push the wire under the archwire. Just get it out of the way. If irritation continues, put wax or wet cotton on the wire – this should reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as you can so we can fix the problem. If a piece falls off, make sure to save it and don’t forget to bring it with you to your appointment.
We’ll need to work together to successfully complete the treatment.
The patient must consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, or other prescribed appliances if the teeth are to move to their correct positions. If appliances are damaged, it will lengthen the treatment period.
Brushing and Flossing
When you have braces, it’s more important than ever to brush and floss your teeth regularly – this way, the teeth and gums will be healthy after you’ve completed your orthodontic treatment. Patients who fail to clean their teeth may need to go to the dentist more often for professional cleaning. Patients with a history of gum disease should visit a periodontist during treatment.
If you’re an athlete, discuss special precautions with us. We advise you to wear a protective mouthguard while playing contact sports. If you experience an accident involving your face, immediately check your mouth and the appliance for damage. Phone at once for an appointment if your teeth have become loose or the appliance is damaged. Meanwhile, treat your discomfort as you would any general soreness.