Getting used to living with braces is easy, but you will need to make a few small lifestyle adjustments. Here are a few helpful tips to guide you through your orthodontic treatment for a more healthy, comfortable experience.
What can I eat while wearing braces? Here are some great food suggestions for braces:
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks, yogurts, cottage cheese, eggs
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry – tender meats, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood – any and all
- Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, beans
- Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, smoothies, berries
- Treats – ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, plain chocolates, peanut butter cups, brownies, soft cookies.
Foods to definitely avoid while wearing braces:
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice, large pretzels, hard candies including suckers
- Chewy foods – bagels, licorice, pizza crust, French breads
- Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum, gummy candies
- Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into – apples, corn on the cob, carrots, ribs and chicken wings
Habits to avoid with braces:
- Biting nails
- Biting your lip
- Pen chewing
Shortly After Being Fitted for Braces
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel tender or sore especially by the end of the day. This is perfectly normal. After two to three days, the general soreness will lessen. You can follow the analgesic recommendations that were given to you during your visit to our office. Good news – it does get better! Hang in there, and know that it will all be worth it!
It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated as they become used to the braces. Warm salt water rinses (1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water) are a great, old fashioned remedy. It is also important to have great brushing and flossing habits to keep the bacteria under control and don’t forget to use wax! We will give you wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the irritations- just let us know if you start to run low!
Take Care of Your Braces or Aligners
Repeated breakage and damage to your braces can increase your time in braces and compromise the final smile result. So be sure to take care of all appliances. Also, your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Thatcher. Remember, we are a team and together we create your perfect smile!
Brushing & Flossing Your Teeth with Braces
When you have braces it’s very important to brush at least 2-3 times per day (2 minutes each time and floss once a day) in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. It is also imperative that you continue seeing your dentist and hygienist for routine cleanings as they are skilled to be able to work with braces and keep you healthy.
Great oral hygiene means a healthy bite and beautiful smile at the end. But did you know that consistently average to poor oral hygiene can actually slow down tooth movement? We all know what plaque can do to create tartar and cavities, but before it gets that far, your gums react and become red and puffy. This will extend your time in braces