Does my life have to change now that I’m in braces?
Now that you are in orthodontic treatment, it’s important to know what comes next. How do you care for braces or aligners? How will your life change?
Braces and your diet
If you choose traditional bracket and wire braces, you will have to make a few adjustments to your diet, and that may mean skipping over some of your favorite snacks for the duration of your treatment. Remember, braces aren’t meant to be a punishment. You can still enjoy the foods that you like. You just have to modify a few things. But don’t worry, you’ll be back to snacking on popcorn and taffy in no time!
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods— bagels, licorice, starbursts
- Crunchy foods— popcorn, hard chips, ice
- Sticky foods— caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods— nuts, hard candies, hard pizza crusts
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, raw carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy— soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads— soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts, soft pizza crusts
- Grains— pasta, soft cooked rice, noodles
- Meats/poultry— soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood— tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables— mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits— applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, strawberries
- Treats— ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cakes, pies
Common braces issues:
Discomfort from Braces and Appliances: It is completely normal to feel a bit of discomfort right after your braces are placed. It won’t last forever but we know in that first day or two it can be annoying! Warm saltwater rinse is a great way to relieve minor irritations. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever to assist with the mild discomfort.
The inside of your mouth will need a bit of time to get used to having braces – some areas may be already sensitive and then adding metal or ceramic brackets and wires can take some getting used to. If you have areas that cause irritation, use a small bit of orthodontic wax for relief.
Loose Teeth: Having your teeth feel loose can be a strange sensation, but don’t worry – it’s completely normal. In order to move to their new locations, your teeth have to loosen from their current ones. But once they’ve settled into their new places everything will feel stable and secure again.
Loose or Poking Wires: Sometimes the wire can come loose or shift during your treatment. There is an easy temporary fix until your next appointment. If a wire becomes loose, you can use the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to gently guide the wire back in place. If the wire is irritating the inside of your mouth, place a very small amount of your orthodontic wax over the part that’s bothering you. If you’re out of wax, a wet cotton ball can work, too. Wax is easily found at your local drugstore or in the toothbrush aisle at the local market if you need some in a pinch.
Loose Bands: If you have bands around your back teeth, in some rare occasions they may become loose. This isn’t an emergency and can be addressed at your next appointment. We rarely use these bands at Gire Orthodontics, so this most likely won’t be an issue during your treatment.
Loose or Broken Brackets: Sometimes the bonding material that is used to hold your brackets in place can weaken or fail, causing a bracket to become loose. This is not an emergency and you don’t need to rush to our office if this happens. If it’s still on the wire, know that it won’t go anywhere because it’s either tied to the wire or the door on the brackets will hold it on the wire. If it’s a back brace and it comes off, place it in a little bag, save it, and bring it with you to your next appointment.
Loose Expander: If your treatment requires the use of an expander and it becomes loose, it is important to contact us as soon as possible. Not only can a loose expander be uncomfortable, if left off for too long it can impact your treatment.
It’s important to take proper care of your appliance and schedule an appointment to see us if something breaks or becomes loose. If your appliance doesn’t work properly, it may alter your treatment time.
Protect your smile during sports
You don’t have to worry about giving up your favorite sport just because you’re wearing braces. It is important to wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth from injury and to prevent any damage to your appliance. Gire Orthodontics is happy to help you find a properly fitting mouthguard to ensure your smile stays protected. We recommend mouthguards for any athletes who engage in activities where a blow to the mouth could result – not just traditional contact sports.
If you have an injury or accident while in braces, be sure you check your mouth and appliance right away. Contact our office as soon as you can to schedule an appointment if you are concerned.