Congratulations! You have officially begun the path towards your healthiest, most beautiful smile. Once you begin your orthodontic treatment, you will have to make a few lifestyle adjustments. Adjusting to life with braces means you must take good care of your teeth, and your braces during treatment. Our tips will help you get used to your new braces in no time!
The first few days with braces can be accompanied with tenderness and soreness. This is perfectly normal, but the good news is that it gets better. Usually within 2 to 3 days the general soreness will subside.
It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated as they become used to the braces. Warm salt water rinses (1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water) are a great, old fashioned remedy. It is also important to have great brushing and flossing to keep the bacteria at bay, and don’t forget to use wax, which we will provide for you.
Care & Maintenance: “A Must During Treatment”
1. How to Brush with Braces
- Brush thoroughly after each time you eat a meal or snack. If you cannot brush right away after a meal, be sure to rinse your mouth with water.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush.
- Braces wear out a toothbrush quickly, so be sure to replace it as soon as it shows signs of wear.
- Brush around all the parts of your braces and every surface of your teeth.
- You’re doing a good job if your braces look clean and shiny, and you are able to see the edges of the brackets clearly. Fuzzy-looking or dull metal indicates poor brushing.
2. How to Floss with Braces
- Floss every night before you go to bed
- Use a floss threader. This reusable tool allows you to get dental floss underneath the wires easily.
3. Eating with Braces
There are a few dietary adjustments that need to be made in order to protect your new braces, and ensure that your treatment goes smoothly. But don’t worry, there are still many tasty foods that you can still eat!
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks, yogurts, cottage cheese, eggs
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry tender meats, meatballs, lunch meats
- Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, beans
- Fruits – bananas, fruit juice, smoothies, berries
- Treats – ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, plain chocolates, peanut butter cups, brownies, soft cookies. But remember to always limit your intake on sugar!
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods – bagels, pizza crust, French breads
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice, hard candies including lollipops, thick pretzels
- Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum, gummy candies
- Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots, ribs and chicken wings
Habits to avoid with braces:
- Chewing on objects such as pens & ice cubes