You’ve just gotten your braces and don’t know what to expect. The following tips can help you as you adjust to your new braces.
After your braces are placed, overall soreness and teeth sensitivity is to be expected for at least three to five days. Vigorous salt-water rinses (dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water) can alleviate pain. If the soreness is severe, you may take Advil, Tylenol, or whatever you normally take for a headache. You may notice that your cheeks, lips and tongue are irritated. This is normal and can last for one to two weeks. Applying wax to your braces can help. We’ll be glad to show you how to apply the wax!
Loosening of Teeth
You may notice your teeth are becoming loose. Don’t worry! This is normal. In order for teeth to move they must first loosen. Your teeth will soon become fixed in their new positions.
Eating with Braces
For the first few days after your braces are placed, we recommend you only eat soft foods. Don’t worry, before long you’ll be able to eat your favorite foods again. But for now, you’ll need to eat softer foods to prevent damage to your braces.
Foods to Avoid
Common sense will tell you what foods to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Nail biting, and pencil and pen chewing should be avoided.
Examples of Foods to Avoid
- pizza crust
- hard pretzels and bagels
- beef jerky
- meat and ribs (on the bone)
- raw carrots
Examples of Foods you can Eat
- soft cheeses
- soft tortillas
- mashed potatoes
- ice cream (no nuts)
- muffin (no nuts)
Playing Instruments & Sport
If you play an instrument or sport, don’t worry. Your braces won’t keep you from doing so. We recommend you wear a mouthguard when participating in any sport activity. We gladly provide mouth guards to our patients at no additional cost. It may take some time for you to get used to playing your instrument while wearing your braces.
Loose Wires, Bands, or Brackets
If a wire or band comes loose, don’t be alarmed. This happens sometimes. If a protruding wire is causing discomfort, use the eraser end of a pencil or the back of a spoon to carefully push it under the archwire. Placing wet cotton or wax on a wire can also alleviate discomfort. Contact our office as soon as possible so we can schedule a comfort appointment. If a piece of your appliance comes off, save it and bring it to the office. If your brackets come loose frequently during treatment, you may need to pay close attention to your diet or the activities you participate in; particularly those you are engaging in without a proper mouthguard.
Brushing and flossing each day, especially during orthodontic treatment, is very important. Braces can make it harder for your to brush and floss properly. Still, you should brush and floss daily so your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout treatment. If you cannot keep your teeth clean during treatment, you may need to visit your dentist more frequently for a cleaning. Adults with a history of periodontal disease should visit their periodontist during orthodontic treatment.