Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
A sensible attitude to diet is needed when in braces, especially avoiding a diet high in lollies, chocolates, cakes and soft drinks etc, which can cause tooth decay, or result in permanent marks on your teeth. You will also need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances. Full details will be given when your braces are fitted.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, ice, hard biscuits
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — pork crackling, ice, nuts, hard lollies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, bread rolls
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy — cheese, yoghurts, custards, pudding, milk drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins, soft breads and rolls
- Grains — pasta, rice
- Meats/poultry — avoid pork crackling - cut meat off bone
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — cut fresh veggies into bite size pieces, cut corn off the cob
- Fruits — cut into bite size pieces
- Treats — ice cream, milkshakes, jellies, chips
Cleaning Teeth With Braces
Always remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. Remember it takes about four minutes to do a good job brushing teeth clean with braces on. Please see the Patient Care Videos for more information on proper brushing, flossing and diet with braces on.
Getting used to 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 and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve discomfort, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for a minute or two (do not swallow the saltwater). If the pain is more severe, take your usual pain reliever as required.
It is not uncommon for the lips, cheeks and tongue to become irritated for the first week or two, as they toughen and become used to your new braces. We will give you some wax that you can put over the braces, to relieve any discomfort. If you need more wax, please let us know.
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 and bands on your braces may come loose during treatment. 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.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Take Care Of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, 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 as prescribed by your doctor. Successful and speedy treatment depends on your co-operation with these appliances.
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 mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard 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 as soon as possible.