So, you got your braces on. Now what? With the help of our caring orthodontist and team at Full Smile Orthodontics, you can know how to care for your braces throughout your treatment, thus improving your chances of a successful treatment. We invite you to review the information below, and if you have any questions about how to live your life with braces in Carlsbad, California, call us at 760.804.0080 and set up your visit with Dr. Daniel Adams.
Eating With Braces
Many patients hear from others about how braces limit what they can eat – especially when it comes to the good stuff! But don’t worry. Soon enough, you will be snacking on popcorn and potato chips once again. Until then, it is important to avoid certain foods that can damage your braces and hinder your treatment progression. While it is important to avoid the foods listed below, it is better to just remember to avoid anything that could potentially separate a bracket from your tooth.
Foods to Avoid With Braces
- Chewy foods, such as taffy, licorice, bagels
- Crunchy foods, such as popcorn, chips, crackers
- Sticky foods, such as caramel candies, gum, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls
- Hard foods, such as nuts, suckers, hard bread (i.e. French bread)
- Foods that you bite into, such as apples, carrots, corn on the cob. Instead, cut these up into bite-size pieces.
Foods You Can Eat With Braces
- Dairy products
- Soft breads, including tortillas, no-nut muffins, pancakes
- Grains, such as pasta and rice
- Soft meats, such as chicken, lunch meats, and meatballs
- Soft or cut-up vegetables, including mashed potatoes
- Cut-up fruit, include apples, applesauce, and bananas
- Treats, such as ice cream without nuts, Jell-O, cake, milkshakes
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
Throughout your orthodontic treatment, you may experience some soreness, especially after you receive your braces or appliance, and after an adjustment. This is completely normal, and we promise it will not last forever! In most cases, soreness dissipates after a few days. In the meantime, you can help ease any soreness by rinsing your mouth with salt water. Mix eight ounces of warm water with a teaspoon of salt. You can swish and gargle the solution to make sure it gets in all of the sore spots. Do so for just a couple of minutes, and spit out the salt water when you are done.
If your soreness is more extreme, and if rinsing with salt water does not help, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Ibuprofen or Advil. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become a little irritated as they toughen up and get used to your new appliance. Our orthodontist and team can give you some wax to place over trouble areas, thus easing your discomfort.
If you feel like your teeth are becoming loose, don’t worry! This is a normal part of having braces. In order to straighten your smile, your braces must first loosen your teeth so they can move more easily into their proper positions. Once your teeth are in the right spot, they will remain firmly in place.
Loose Wires and Bands
The wires and bands that help keep your braces together may become loose over time. If this happens, contact our office as soon as possible to come in for a repair. If more pieces of your appliance become loose or come off until you can get to our office, keep it safe in a ziplock bag and bring it to your appointment.
If you cannot get into our office right away, you can temporarily fix a loose wire with a pencil eraser or the back of a spoon. Gently use one of these items to push the wire back into place. If a loose wire is causing your soft tissue (lips, cheeks, tongue) to become irritated, you can apply some wax, or use a cotton ball to cover the loose wire.
Take Care of Your Appliance
Damaged orthodontic appliances can result in a longer treatment time. In order to help you achieve your ideal smile according to your treatment plan, it is important for you to care for your braces. When you properly care for your braces, wear your rubber bands as directed, and are consistent in wearing additional appliances, your teeth and jaw can more easily move into their correct positions, giving you a better smile.
Playing Sports With Braces
Are you an athlete? If so, you do not have to worry about braces getting in the way of you getting your game on! For patients who have braces and play sports, our orthodontist recommends that you wear a protective mouth guard to keep your teeth and braces safe. If you need help finding the right mouth guard, you can talk to our orthodontist and find what works best for your situation.
If you happen to experience an emergency during a sporting practice or game, immediately check your appliance and mouth for signs of damage. If there are any loose brackets, wires, or teeth, contact us immediately and set up a time to visit our office. We will see you as soon as we can. In the meantime, apply wax to your appliance to help relieve any discomfort, and to keep any loose brackets in place.
If you have any questions about how to live your life with braces, we invite you to contact us today. Our friendly team would be happy to help. We want your braces experience to be as comfortable and enjoyable as possible!