Living With Braces - Learn the Dos and Don’ts
Now that you have your braces, how do you take proper care of them? Knowing how to care for your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment is very important, as damaged orthodontic appliances can increase the length of your treatment. Read on to learn the dos and don’ts of living with braces in Cary, NC, and how to care for them properly to ensure optimal orthodontic treatment.
Eating With Braces
Don’t worry; you’ll be snacking on potato chips and eating popcorn again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of your favorite snacks, you need to be careful and avoid any foods that could damage your braces.
Foods You Need to Avoid With Braces:
- Foods that require more pressure when you bite down, such as carrots, apples, and corn on the cob
- Chewy foods such as licorice and bagels
- Crunchy foods such as ice, chips, and popcorn
- Sticky foods such as chewing gum and caramel candies
- Hard foods such as hard candies and nuts
Foods That You Can Eat With Braces:
- Grains like soft-cooked rice and pasta
- Treats like soft cake, milkshakes, Jell-O, and ice cream without nuts
- Poultry/meats such as lunch meats, meatballs, and soft-cooked chicken
- Seafood like crab cakes, salmon, and tuna
- Vegetables like cooked spinach, green beans, and mashed potatoes
- Soft fruits or fruit products such as fruit juice, bananas, and applesauce
- Bread such as pancakes, muffins without nuts, and soft tortillas
- Dairies such as milk-based drinks, pudding, and soft cheese
Common Issues and Solutions for Braces and Other Orthodontic Appliances
When you first get your braces, you may discover that your mouth and teeth feel sore or tender. While this feeling is perfectly normal, we promise your mouth and teeth will not be sore forever! We recommend dissolving a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of tepid water to relieve the pain. Swish and gargle this saltwater solution in your mouth for a few minutes (do not swallow it).
If the pain does not go away and becomes more severe after rinsing with the solution, you should try taking a pain reliever. Your tongue, lips, and cheeks can also become irritated for one or two weeks as they toughen and acclimatize to the braces. We can also provide you with some wax that you can apply to the braces to reduce the tenderness. Please let us know if you need wax or any other kind of assistance to alleviate your discomfort.
Don’t worry if your teeth start feeling a little loose; this is also normal! The braces must loosen your teeth first before moving them into the correct position. Once they move your teeth to the right position, they will no longer feel loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
The bands and wires on your braces may come loose. If you experience this issue, please get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can examine and repair your orthodontic appliance. Additionally, if any piece of your orthodontic appliance comes off, make sure you save it and bring it with you to our Cary orthodontic office.
You can fix the loose wire temporarily by using the eraser end of a pencil or the back of a spoon to gently and carefully push the wire back into place. If the loose wire irritates your cheeks or lips, apply a wet cotton ball or wax over the broken wire to alleviate the pain.
Take Proper Care of Your Orthodontic Appliances
As mentioned earlier, damaged orthodontic appliances can elongate your treatment process, so make sure you take proper care of all your orthodontic appliances. You can only achieve the best results when you consistently wear your retainer, headgear, rubber bands, and other orthodontic devices as prescribed by your orthodontist.
Playing Sports With Braces
If you’re an athlete, we have great news for you! You can still play your favorite sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! However, wearing a mouthguard is recommended to protect your teeth and your orthodontic appliances if you play sports. Please talk to your Cary orthodontist if you need help finding the right mouthguard that offers the best protection.
In the event of a sports emergency, check your mouth and orthodontic appliances for damage immediately, and then contact our office the moment you notice any appliance damage or loose teeth. In addition, you can temporarily relieve the discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater or applying wax to the affected area.