Taking Care of Your Braces
Your First Few Days
There might be some general soreness of the teeth and mouth. Usually this is not enough to interfere with your daily routine, but if soreness is severe, Motrin (ibuprofen) is the most widely used pain reliever for children and adults. Please consult your orthodontist or dentist before taking any pain medications. While your teeth are sore, avoid hard foods that require chewing. It is best to eat soft, nutritious foods such as pastas, soups, applesauce, mashed potatoes etc. The discomfort is usually limited to the first few days after the braces are placed. The teeth may even appear loose but don't panic. Your teeth must loosen first so they can move, but they will firm up again.
Eating and Braces - Things You Cannot Eat or Chew
Protect your braces by avoiding hard foods which may loosen your brackets or bands. This situation causes discomfort and may also delay your treatment.Examples of Things You Cannot Eat or Chew:
- Ice: Can break your braces
- Pizza Crust: Bends the wires
- Corn Chips/Pretzels: Bends wires and loosens brackets
- Sticky and Chewy Confections ie Lollipop/Candy/Bubblegum: May pull off wires and can cause tooth decay
- Nuts/Popcorn: The shells may get caught between the gum and bands
- Pens/Pencils: Can break braces and bend the wires
- Corn On The Cob: Cut the niblets off the cob before eating to avoid damage to braces
- Apples/Carrots(and other hard vegetables/fruits): Cut into smaller pieces before eating.
Sports - Mouth Guards
Braces won't interfere with most sports. A custom mouth guard specifically designed and tailored to your individual need will protect your teeth when worn during contact sport. An ill-fitting mouth guard may hinder your treatment plan. Consult with your orthodontist about the best options for you.
Broken Appliances - Loose Wires Or Bands
Do not be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. If a wire is protruding and is causing irritation, carefully use a blunt instrument (ie back of a spoon, eraser end of a pencil) to gently push the wire out of the way. Wax or a wet cotton wool may also be placed over the irritants to protect the lips, cheeks and tongue.
Compliance - Proper Care of Your Teeth and Appliances
Successful orthodontics is the result of the technical competence of the orthodontic team, the co-operation of the patient and good communication. Compliance and proper care of your appliances allow us to achieve the best results in the shortest period of time for you. It is extremely important to maintain proper hygiene of your teeth and gum. Thorough brushing, flossing and regular use of a fluoride rinse (available from your orthodontist or dentist) will reduce the risk of cavities and decalcification (white marks).