Life With Braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them?

Eating with Braces

Before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice, tough edge of pizza crust, Skittles
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, tortilla chips, kettle cooked chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods — nuts, jerky, hard candies, suckers, peanut brittle
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, raw carrots, chicken on the bone

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Dairy — cheese, pudding, milk, yogurt
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice, quinoa
  • Meats/poultry — boneless chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, beans, raw veggies cut small or shredded
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, citrus fruits, fruit juice, sliced apples
  • Treats — ice cream or brownies without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, 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. It’s like a headache in your teeth. We recommend general over-the-counter medications for this discomfort. The soreness should only last for about 3 days. Hang in there, we promise your mouth will not be sore forever!

It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for the first week as they become used to the braces. You received wax in your starter kit. Apply the wax to the wire or bracket where your cheek or lip is getting sore. If you need more please let us know. Don’t hesitate to call us if you need help or have questions about soreness.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires, brackets or bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, 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.

Sometimes we use very small wires to hold your big wire (the one that goes through each of your braces) in place. If the little tail comes un-tucked from around a bracket it can be sharp. You can temporarily fix this by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the little wire back into place. If it continues to cause irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the loose/broken wire to relieve the pain and give us a call so we can make you comfortable again.

Take Care of your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment time, 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, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Brieden or Dr. Miller.

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 mouth-guard to protect your teeth and your braces. You will want to wear one specifically made for people with braces. It will have a slot for your teeth to rest in; not the boil and bite into type. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouth-guard 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.