Living with Braces
Get the most out of your braces with these everyday tips.
Having braces really isn't as bad as some people may say, but there are definitely a few adjustments you need to make and issues you should be aware of to ensure your treatment goes smoothly.
There Will Be Foods You Shouldn’t Eat
During treatment, your favorite foods may be off-limits because they could damage your braces. Chewy foods, like bagels, licorice, or gum, as well as crunchy foods like popcorn, chips, apples, and raw carrots, all run the risk of getting stuck in your braces or damaging them.
Food limitations make it seem as though braces are taking away the fun of eating, but it’s an important precaution you should take to ensure your braces stay in place and unharmed. Damage to your braces can prolong treatment, so we recommend doing everything you can to keep them in working order.
For all the foods you can’t eat, there are plenty you can! Feel free to indulge in dairy products, pancakes, muffins, chicken, lunch meats, fish, mashed potatoes, and bananas, as well as occasional soft sweets — just make sure you’re brushing every time you eat!
Braces Need to Be Taken Care of Just Like Your Teeth
Because you’re exposing them to the same bacteria as your tooth enamel each time you eat or drink, your braces can also cause plaque to build up on your teeth around the brackets or under the wires. Brushing and flossing are crucial with braces, and doing so on a regular basis will help keep your teeth clean and cavity-free.
We usually recommend brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing at least once a day to remove the plaque from in between your teeth and braces. Our orthodontist can give you specific brushing and flossing instructions and recommend tools you can use to make the process easier.
Many of our patients invest in a water pik, which is a great addition to brushing and flossing while in braces, but shouldn't be used to replace them.
You Might Feel Some Discomfort at First
In the beginning, your braces may feel foreign in your mouth. Speaking will take some getting used to, and you might feel some irritation along your gums and lips. Any tenderness that you feel is normal and should subside once your mouth adjusts to the brackets and wires.
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water will soothe any sensitive areas, and there are dental waxes you can put on your braces to eliminate friction. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help to ease any discomfort. Our orthodontist can suggest other ways to alleviate soreness as well.
Slightly Loose Teeth Are Normal, Loose Hardware Is Not
It may be shocking to feel your teeth becoming loose with braces, but it’s all part of the process. For you to have a healthier, straighter smile, your teeth need to loosen and move according to your treatment plan. Once your teeth reach their proper place, they will tighten up again.
On the other hand, if you have an archwire or bracket that has come loose, it’s important to call us (561-658-4100). There are many ways to fix these issues over the phone without having to come to our office, and we will be able to either give you the instructions you need or schedule an appointment if necessary.
Be Careful when Playing Sports
Your braces shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you love! Feel free to participate in extracurricular activities like you always have, but if you play a sport, we recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces from injury.
Braces take some getting used to, but in time, they will become a regular part of your life. If you have additional questions or concerns about your orthodontic treatment with braces, contact The Smile Store at (561) 658-4100 and we will be glad to help you.