How to Care for Braces?
Taking care of your teeth is very important during orthodontic treatment! Oral hygiene and home care need to be a priority because, with braces, food may get caught in places that your toothbrush can't reach. This may cause bacteria to build up and can lead to gingivitis, gum disease, and cavities. We will show you to keep the hard-to-reach areas clean! Follow our recommendations for the healthy and white teeth!
- Always brush after every meal and floss at least every night
- Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride
- Drink water with fluoride
- If recommended, use your fluoride rinse
- When you take your retainers or clear aligners out, make sure to put them in their container, so they don't get lost or broken.
Do You Have Soreness?
It is normal to notice your teeth or mouth feel a little sore or tender when you first get your braces or after they are adjusted. Remember that this soreness will go away and is part of the process of a beautiful smile! To help with any tenderness, we recommend rinsing with warm saltwater. Dissolve about one teaspoon of salt in about eight ounces of warm water. Swish and gargle with the solution for a few minutes then spit it out; do not swallow it!
If the pain is more severe and is not relieved by rinsing, you may take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Please consult with Dr. Gordon to see what pain reliever may be best for you. It is also common for the lips, cheeks, tongue, and soft tissues in the mouth to become irritated for a few weeks as they get used to the braces and other appliances. For sore spots, we recommend using ortho wax that will cover the braces and reduce the tenderness.
Loose Teeth, Wires & Bands
It is normal for your teeth to feel a little loose! Your braces will first loosen your teeth so they can be gently moved to the proper position. Once your teeth are aligned, they will no longer feel loose. Occasionally, a wire or band may come loose and cause some irritation, or a piece comes off. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so we can repair your appliance.
If you are unable to get into our office, you can temporarily try fixing the appliance by gently pushing a broken wire back into place. If a loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheek, use wax or a wet cotton ball to cover the broken metal and reduce the discomfort.
Playing Sports with Braces
You can play sports with braces! We recommend that you wear a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. We will help you decide what type of mouthguard is best for you and your sport!
In the event of a sports accident, check your teeth, mouth, and your appliance for any sign of damage. If you notice any loose teeth or damage to your braces, call our office immediately!
Foods to Avoid with Braces
- Sticky and chewy foods (gum, taffy, licorice, caramel, gummy worms, sticky snacks, etc.)
- Hard foods (ice cubes, nuts, jawbreakers, or any hard candy)
- Foods that get stuck in your braces and are hard to clean (corn on the cob, ribs, soft bagels, dried fruits)
- Foods you have to bite into (apples, carrots)
- Avoid food with a lot of sugar, which can increase cavities
Foods You Can Eat with Braces
- Meats and fish (soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meat, seafood)
- Diary (soft cheese, pudding, yogurt, smoothies)
- Bread and grains (pancakes, muffins, soft tortillas, soft bread, pasta, cooked rice)
- Fruits and vegetables (mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans, soft cooked veggies, applesauce, bananas, watermelon)
- Treats (milkshakes, jell-O, soft cakes, cupcakes, ice cream without nuts)