Life with Braces
As your new braces work to give you a perfect smile, you’ll need to know how to properly care for them so they can do their job. Life with braces doesn’t have to be difficult, but there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind in caring for your braces. Take a look below to learn the ins and outs of living with braces.
Food and Your Braces
There’s a list of foods you’ll have to refrain from eating to avoid any damage to your braces. We know how hard it is to give up some of your favorite foods, but avoiding them will make the process much easier. The following types of food could potentially harm your new appliances, take a look:
- Hard and Chewy Foods – Bagels, pretzels, nuts, and other foods that require excessive chewing can break brackets and damage wires.
- Food that Crunch – Similar to hard-to-chew foods, crunchy chips and popcorn also pose a threat to your brackets.
- Sticky Foods – Sorry candy lovers. Taffy, caramel, and gum are all risky when it comes to braces. These foods can not only pull off your brackets, but also get stuck in areas that are hard to reach for cleaning.
- Big Bites – Foods that need to be bitten into like apples, carrots, and corn on the cob should be avoided. Needless to say, they too may break or damage your braces.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of other foods you can enjoy with braces. As many of the foods you should avoid include tasty treats, ice cream and pudding are great options to get your sugar fix and prevent damage to your braces. Additionally, here is a list of just a few foods you can eat:
- Dairy Products – Soft cheese, milk, pudding, and ice cream
- Bread – Muffins (no nuts), waffles, and tortillas
- Grains – Cooked rice and pasta
- Meat and Seafood – Boneless meat and poultry, tuna, and crab cakes
- Fruits and Vegetables – Bananas, juice, mashed potatoes, peas, and beans
Aches and Concerns
It’s quite common to feel some aches and tenderness when you first get your braces. Don’t be alarmed, though. These usual pains won’t last and you can gargle with warm salt water to alleviate the soreness. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of water and gargle away!
In some cases, the soreness from braces can be a bit more painful and may require taking mild pain relievers. As your mouth adapts to your new appliances, your lips and cheeks can often become agitated. At your request, we can provide you with wax to cover your braces and help reduce the irritation.
Aside from possible aches and pains, some concerns may arise, such as loose teeth. While loose teeth can be alarming, it’s perfectly normal with braces. As your new braces work to straighten your teeth, they will loosen a bit as they are moved into the correct position.
Loose Wires and Bands
Much like the concerns of loose teeth and pains from braces, the wires, brackets, and bands of your braces may come loose over time. Whether your braces comes loose or pieces break off, be sure to contact us and save any broken pieces. We’ll get your braces repaired in no time.
If needed, you can always push a loose wire back into position with a pencil top or something similar. Sometimes, these loose wires can press against your cheeks or lips, causing irritation. In this case, use wax or a cotton ball to reduce irritation while you wait to come in and get your braces fixed.
Caring For Your Braces
When it comes to caring for your braces, avoiding the foods listed above and wearing any additional appliance such as bands or headgear is crucial, as damage to your braces often lengthens the time you’ll have them on. Crooked teeth and misaligned bites will only be corrected if you utilize your bands, retainers, or headgear. If not, the entire process will take longer and you’ll have to continue avoiding all those tasty foods.
Sports and Braces
Adding to the proper care of your braces, it’s important to keep them protected when playing sports, as you can damage both your braces and mouth if you’re not careful. Accordingly, we recommend that our patients where a protective mouthguard to avoid any potential harm to your braces.
If you do in fact damage your braces while playing sports, or in any other way for that matter, be sure to contact our offices right away.