Excellent orthodontic treatment results are attained with cooperative, informed and committed patients and parents. Successful treatment is a team effort: patients, parents, the orthodontist and a specially trained staff working together. The rewards are your radiant smile, your healthy teeth and gums and your glow of new self-confidence!
It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment. For the best result in the shortest amount of time, there are several responsibilities of the patient.
Eating with Braces
Eat a well-balanced diet.
Avoid chewing on hard, crunchy or sticky foods, ice and other objects that may damage your appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
Orthodontic braces and appliances apply pressures to move teeth. When the braces are placed, or clear removable aligners worn, (Invisalign) or when adjustments are made, your teeth and gums may initially feel tender. The amount of discomfort varies from one patient to another but does not last usually more than two or three days. We recommend a form of pain reliever if needed (e.g. ibuprofen), and biting into a bite wafer that we will give you when you start your treatment.
It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We will show you how to use wax that you can place over the braces to lessen the irritation. If you need more wax, please let us know.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
The wires and bands or brackets on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you. If a loose wire, band or bracket is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax on the area of discomfort until you can call the office for an appointment.
Take Care of your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaws can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Wells
Playing Sports with Braces
Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Specialized mouth guards are available for orthodontic patients and are strongly recommended. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouth guard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.