Wearing Braces

Wearing Braces

Tips for a great Braces experience

Wearing Braces

Your journey toward a more confident smile is underway! To ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment, it’s vital to care for your braces diligently. On average, braces are worn anywhere from 18 months to three years. The first few weeks present the biggest hurdles as you adjust to your mouthful of new orthodontic hardware.

Go Easy on Your Braces

Especially during the initial days when your teeth and mouth may feel sore, it’s essential to be mindful of your food choices. Avoid hard, crunchy, or chewy foods, as they could damage your braces. Instead, opt for softer foods that are gentle on your mouth. Dairy products (like soft cheese, yogurt, and pudding), soups, pasta, and rice, and steamed vegetables are great options. Treat yourself to soothing delights like ice cream (without nuts!) and milkshakes, especially when your mouth is sore. Lunch can be a packed meal of tender meats or soft-cooked chicken. Cutting your food up into bite-sized pieces will also help you avoid unnecessary irritation while your gums and teeth adjust to the new settings. As long as the foods are relatively soft and easy to chew, you should be good to go.

Avoid Certain Foods

Don’t worry. You won’t have to give up all your food. However, certain foods can be problematic because they are more easily caught between teeth and braces. We recommend straying from:

  • Chewy foods (licorice, bagels)
  • Crunchy foods (chips, lollipops)
  • Sticky foods (Skittles, Starbursts)
  • Hard foods (candies, nuts)

Bad Chewing Habits

If you tend to chew on your fingernails or pencils (ie, things other than food), you might want to quit those habits while undergoing orthodontic treatments. Hard objects like ice can aggravate sensitive teeth or damage your new hardware.

Brush and Floss Often

Brushing is always important for good oral hygiene, especially with braces. Trapped food can cause decay and cavities if not quickly removed. Brush after every meal while being mindful of every crevice of your mouth.

Floss will become your best friend when it comes to good oral hygiene. Flossing daily with a floss threader is a good way to ensure your teeth stay clean.

Managing Soreness: 

Expect temporary soreness in the first few days of braces. Your mouth will gradually adjust to the appliance, alleviating any discomfort caused by the braces. For relief, swish and gargle a teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of lukewarm water (make sure not to swallow the saltwater). If this doesn’t help, consider using a pain reliever. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may take one to two weeks to toughen up. If irritation occurs, feel free to ask us for wax that you can place over your braces to act as a buffer.

Don’t fret if your teeth feel loose; this is a natural part of the repositioning process by your braces. Once they’ve been adjusted, they will no longer feel loose.

Managing Poking Wires or Brackets: 

If the wires or brackets irritate the inside of your mouth, use wax to cover the sharp edges. Don’t worry – even though your mouth may be sensitive to your new gear initially; it will get used to it after some time.

Dealing with Loose Wires and Bands: 

If your wires or bands become loose, contact us immediately for necessary repairs. Ensure that you bring any loose pieces with you to your appointment. If you encounter loose wires, you can temporarily push them back in place using the back of a spoon or a hard eraser. 

Braces and Sports: 

For those engaged in sports, we recommend using mouthguards to protect your teeth and braces during physical activities. In the event of any significant incidents, check for mouth or braces damage. If you notice loose teeth or appliance damage, contact us promptly. Use the saltwater technique mentioned earlier to relieve discomfort, or apply wax to prevent potential sharp pains.

At Ostler & Bunker Family Orthodontics, your treatment journey is designed to give you a confident and beautiful smile. Following these care tips will help ensure a successful and comfortable experience throughout your treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, just give us a call or stop by.

Cleaning your teeth with braces
Braces and burgers

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