Living with Braces
Learning how to take care of braces can take some practice when you first get them. But don’t worry; it’s not hard, it’s just a case of doing things a little differently from pre-brace times.
Foods to Avoid
Certain types of food should be avoided to protect your braces from any form of damage. Be careful with eating hard foods. Hard foods such as raw carrots, apple and hard candies can break the braces or the pieces can get stuck behind the wire (in which case they’re a real pain to get out).
- Don’t eat hard foods such as hard taco shells, ice, nuts, Jolly Ranchers (or any hard candy), bagels or chips. Cut hard fruit/vegetables (such as apples and carrots) into tiny bite size pieces.
- Avoid foods like whole apples, corn on the cob, hard candies, nuts Tootsie Rolls, and Bazooka gum.
- Avoid sticky foods such as caramels and gum
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by taking Advil or Ibuprofin.
Tenderness & Sensitivity
The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how! Many patients find relief by rinsing their mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. You can make this mouthwash at home by dissolving one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinsing your mouth vigorously.
If soreness persists, Ibuprofen can help alleviate any remaining discomfort.
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new – corrected – positions.
Care of Appliances
To successfully complete the orthodontic treatment in the estimated time, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. Dr. Biermann can supply a protective mouthguard if necessary.
If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness. Ibuprofen & Tylenol can be used to alleviate any pain associated with an injury.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If this does happen, call Dr. Biermann’s office immediately to set up an appointment or receive instructions for temporary relief.
While you are waiting on your appointment, you may use the eraser end of a pencil and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under a bracket. Simply get it out of the way.
If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.