Life With Braces in Sunrise, FL
Now that you have your braces and are on your way to that perfect smile, you need to know how to take care of them. Throughout your time in braces, you will want to maintain them properly because a broken bracket or loose wire can delay treatment.
Failure to properly brush can result in tiny white spots on your teeth where the brackets were, making it much tougher to claim that perfect smile.
Eating With Braces
We know, going through popcorn and potato chip withdrawals can be tough, but avoiding foods that can damage your appliances takes a little extra care and is totally worth it. Don't worry, you'll be back to your favorite snack foods in no time.
Foods you should avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods like bagels, licorice or gummies
- Crunchy or hard foods like popcorn, chips, ice, or hard candies
- Sticky foods like caramel candies, chewing gum and taffies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots, etc.
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy like soft cheeses, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads including soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — think pasta or soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry and seafood like soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats, tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables such as mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits including applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats like ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
When you first get your braces, you will probably notice your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise your mouth won't be sore forever.
To relieve the pain, swish and gargle a saltwater rinse (one teaspoon of salt to 8oz. of water) for a few minutes - make sure to spit it out, don't swallow.
If the pain is more severe and doesn't go away after rinsing, you can also try an over-the-counter pain reliever. It's 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 as well.
We can also help by giving you some wax to put over the braces, to create a barrier between your gear and your mouth. Make sure to ask about it at your appointment and we'll be happy to show you how to make it work for you.
If your teeth start to feel a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! As your teeth begin to shift into the right position, they loosen a little to make adjustments. Once your teeth have been repositioned properly, they won't feel loose.
Loose Wires & Bands
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose - especially if you haven't avoided those delicious hard foods. If this happens, give us a call and let us know.
From there, we'll help schedule an appointment to make the fix or provide further instruction. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, putting wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire can help to relieve the pain.
Taking Care of Your Gear
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process (boo!), so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.
If at any time you think your appliances are damaged or have questions, it's best to contact our office.
Sports With Braces
We have great news for athletes. Forget those old myths about sitting on the benches while your braces get to have all the fun. Of course you can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment!
If you do play sports, we recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. We'll discuss your sports career at an appointment and can help you find the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports-related braces emergency, immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, call our office right away.
You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm salt water, as prescribed above. To learn more about what to do in an emergency, visit our emergency dental care page.