Life with Braces
So, what do you need to know? Check out our simple guide below to get a better idea of what you need to know and do as a new braces patient.
Right after your braces are put on, you will feel general mouth soreness. You may feel like your teeth are tender to biting pressure and that your cheeks and lips are irritated by the appliance. This is normal, and it doesn’t last long. Everything should feel normal after five days, at the most.
To help relieve soreness, there are a few things you can do. First, try a salt-water rinse. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and use this to gargle and swish. Do not swallow it. If this doesn’t give you enough relief, try an over-the-counter pain reliever. For irritation, cover the part of your appliance causing the irritation with dental wax.
Loosening of Teeth
It may feel strange at first, but loose teeth are all part of the process of straightening them. We cannot move your teeth until they loosen up first. Rest assured that your teeth will firm up in their final places once treatment is complete.
Loose Wire or Band
During the course of your treatment, something will come loose. This isn’t a sign of a bad appliance or poor work; it is just bound to happen considering how much your mouth moves throughout the day between talking and eating. When it happens, there are things you should do.
First, schedule an appointment. Even if you can temporarily fix the issue, we need to see you as soon as possible. Then, if a piece has come off your appliance, save it somewhere safe. If a piece is poking, try to push it back into place using the eraser end of a new pencil. If the appliance is causing irritation, use dental wax.
Brushing and Flossing
When you have braces, brushing and flossing is more important than ever. And it is more complicated than ever. You will need to learn how to brush and floss around your braces, which we will teach you to do. You should do this 2-3 times every day.
If you play a sport where there is contact, or the chance of contact, you need a special mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces. Even if your sport usually is not a contact sport, if there is the chance of a ball or other item hitting your mouth, you need a mouthguard. Let us know and we will make one for you.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
- Sticky foods: caramels, gum
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.