Now that you have braces, there are some important things you must know in order to take care of them and have a successful orthodontic treatment.
Damaged appliances might lengthen your treatment, so make sure to take care of them by watching what you eat and wearing a mouthguard if you play sports. Also, you’ll need to consistently wear the rubber bands, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Cochran.
Eating With Braces
During treatment, you’ll need to avoid foods that might damage your appliances. Don’t worry, you’ll be eating crunchy foods again in no time!
Foods To Avoid
A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything that is sugary, hard, sticky, chewy, or that you might need to bite into. Here are some examples:
• Chewy foods – Bagels, granola bars, beef jerky
• Crunchy foods – Popcorn, potato chips, hard taco shells
• Sticky foods – Caramel candies, taffy, chewing gum
• Hard foods – Hard candies, nuts, pizza crust
• Foods you need to bite into – Corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods You Can Enjoy
Feel free to enjoy foods that are healthy, soft, and in small pieces. Here are some examples of the tasty choices you have:
• Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
• Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
• Grains – soft cooked rice and pasta
• Meats/poultry/seafood – soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats, tuna, and salmon
• Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, beans
• Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
• Desserts – ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cakes
Soreness Caused by Braces and Appliances
Your mouth and teeth might feel a little tender or uncomfortable when you first get braces. This is totally normal and temporary. To relieve the pain, try mixing a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of lukewarm water. Then, swish and gargle the solution in your mouth for a couple of minutes and spit it out. If it still hurts or doesn’t go away with the rinse, you can take a pain reliever.
Also, it’s not unusual for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to feel irritated for one to two weeks until they get used to the braces. You can put wax on your braces to lessen the tenderness. Let us know if you need some!
It’s normal for your teeth to feel a little loose at first. Don’t worry, this is how braces work! They must loosen your teeth first in order to move them where they need to go. Once your teeth are in their new position, they will no longer feel this way.
Loose Wires and Bands
If the wires and bands on your braces come loose, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check your appliance and repair it if necessary. If any piece comes off, make sure to save it and bring it with you.
In the meantime, you can fix the loose wire with the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser by carefully pushing the wire back into place. If a loose wire is irritating your lips or cheeks, you can use wax or a wet cotton ball to block it from poking you.
Playing Sports with Braces
Are you an athlete? We have great news for you! You can still play your favorite sport during orthodontic treatment. While doing so, we recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Do let Dr. Cochran know if you need help to find the right mouthguard for you.
If there is a sports emergency, make sure to check your mouth and appliance immediately for damage. If you feel any loose teeth or your appliance sustained damage, contact our office right away. Remember, you can temporarily relieve any discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with salt water.