THE FIRST FEW DAYS
You will probably experience some discomfort, as a result of, your teeth and gums adjust to your braces. We recommend taking a mild non-prescription painkiller before any discomfort occurs, for best results. Every patient is different, but soreness is usually gone in a few days. We will provide you with a supply of wax to reduce any irritation to your gums and inner cheeks caused by the braces. The wax is placed on your orthodontic appliance to smooth any spots that are causing discomfort.
FOODS – SOFTER AND SMALLER
After your braces are first placed, eat softer foods, such as mashed potatoes, mac-and-cheese, soup and yogurt. Cut up any solid food into smaller sizes. This will help minimize any discomfort associated with chewing. Cold food, such as ice cream, milkshakes and frozen yogurt, can also help reduce soreness.
If you play sports, be sure to wear a mouthguard. This will protect your teeth, the inside of your mouth and your braces.
BRUSHING & FLOSSING
Brushing your teeth is even more important when you are wearing braces. Food can get stuck on your braces and if not brushed properly can lead to staining, tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
- Brush within 5 minutes after every meal. Take a travel toothbrush and toothpaste wherever you go.
- Use a soft bristle brush to prevent gum recession.
- Initially, brush back and forth across the gums and teeth to remove food particles.
- Then, brush in a circular motion between braces and under gums, a few teeth at a time.
- Flossing while you are wearing braces is more difficult, but well worth it. You will need a floss threader, superfloss or Platypus flossers in order to floss more easily. We will provide you some and give you instructions to get you started.
- We also recommend using fluoride mouth rinse each day. This will help clean your mouth and keep your teeth strong.
YOUR FAMILY DENTIST
Visit your dentist every six months to maintain optimal oral health. Some patients may need to go more frequently while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Talk with your dentist about what makes the best sense for your situation. Remember, appointments at our office do not replace visits to your family dentist.
MANAGING THE UNEXPECTED
In cases involving an accident with trauma to the face, mouth or teeth, whereby a tooth is knocked out, displaced or fractured, please call your family dentist immediately and then contact us.
Repairs and replacement appointments may require more time than is available during a normal appointment. Therefore, If you have loose bands or brackets or a broken wire, we ask that you contact our office as soon as possible so an appointment can be scheduled.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR BRACES – EATING GUIDELINES
There are many types of food you can enjoy with braces, but the following should be avoided or eaten differently because they may damage wires, loosen cement under bands and break brackets:
1. Hard Foods – Stay Away from: ice, jawbreakers, whole nuts, hard pretzels, etc.
Cut apples, carrots and raw veggies into small pieces and chew them on your back teeth. Break bagels and pizza crust into bite-size pieces. Cut corn off the cob before eating.
2. Sticky Foods – Avoid: caramels, taffy, gummy bears, Starburst, etc.
3. Foods and Beverages with High Sugar Content – Sugary snacks/drinks increase the amount of the plaque that forms on your teeth, which can lead to cavities. items like soda, candy bars, cookies, etc. If you do eat sugary foods, rinse with water immediately and brush your teeth as soon as possible. Also, please… do not chew on pencils, pens or Popsicle sticks. These can damage your braces.