Life with braces
What can you eat? Pretty much anything you’d like! There is a small list of foods we ask that you avoid which are listed below. You may notice that with certain types of appliances or bite blocks that it is difficult to chew for the first few days. Don’t worry, it won’t last long and you will figure out how to enjoy your favorite foods again!
It’s not going to be easy at first, and in the beginning foods you can eat will be limited. You’ll want to stick to foods that are soft, fluffy and easily mashed up. Pancakes, oatmeal, bananas, soups, cooked vegetables, applesauce, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and soft ice cream – just to suggest a few. Stay away from foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky or tough.
- Sticky – caramel, tootsie rolls, toffee
- Hard – apples, carrots and other raw vegetables
- Crunchy – popcorn, chips
- Tough – bagels, corn on the cob, sandwiches, steak, ribs
There are a few tricks around some problem foods. You can cook your vegetables to make them softer, cut your corn off the cob, and slice apples and sandwiches into small, bite sized pieces.
If you’re in doubt about a particular food, ask one of our team members.
Your mouth is going to feel sensitive and a bit sore when you first get your braces put on. To help alleviate the soreness, you can rinse your mouth with a salt-water solution or take an over-the-counter analgesic (Tylenol, Advil, etc). If your braces are rubbing or poking your mouth, you can use dental wax (available at the office or your local drugstore) to cover problem areas and prevent blisters.
Part of the process of creating your new, beautiful smile is moving your teeth; to move them, they need to loosen up first. “Loose teeth” are a natural part of the process. Once your teeth are in the right place, they will settle in to their new position.
Inevitably, something is going to come loose. A bracket will loosen or a wire may pop out of place. Don’t worry!
If it’s a flexible wire, you might be able to push it back into place using tweezers. If you can’t move it with tweezers, you can use a pencil eraser to push the offending wire down. Dental wax will also be your friend, place a small amount on the spot to cover the problem area. Next, schedule an appointment to have the wire, bracket, or band repaired.
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. If the patient has been asked to wear rubber bands, they must be worn consistently for them to work properly. With your partnership, we should be able to complete your treatment within the estimated time!
Using a soft bristled toothbrush, begin by brushing the outside of your teeth and braces holding the brush tilted at a 45 degree angle. Brush along the top and bottom of the braces using light to moderate pressure, making sure you cover every surface very carefully. Don’t forget to brush the teeth all the way in the back and behind your back molars. It’s a good practice to brush for three minutes at least twice a day. Using a timer or singing along to a song will help you keep track of your time.
Flossing at least once a day is very important for good dental hygiene and to keep your teeth healthy. Flossing with braces may seem difficult at first. To floss properly, you will need to thread the floss under the archwire. This can be done in two ways – either by threading the floss through on your own or using a floss threader to thread the floss under the wire.
When threading the floss, it is a good practice to start by pushing the floss vertically from the top to the bottom on your upper teeth and from the bottom to the top on your bottom teeth, always threading away from your gums. Once threaded, carefully floss around each tooth and gum, moving the floss up and down, just like you did without braces.
- Fixed Retainers are bonded directly to the inside of your teeth.
- Daily use of floss, waterpiks, and/or proxy “christmas tree” brushes will dislodge food debris from accumulating around the wires. Floss threaders or super floss can be used to guide the floss below the wire if needed.
- Thorough brushing around your retainer is necessary to keep plaque from accumulating around the wires.
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- Wear your retainers every night, unless Dr. Sellers instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainers out when eating…and ALWAYS put retainers in their case!
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use cool water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque and eliminates odors. Retainer Brite® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth, they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken, call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- With proper care, retainers should last for several years.
- Remove retainers when swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
Types of Appliances
Small acrylic blocks that are placed in the back of your teeth in order for the teeth to move more rapidly.
We connect small elastomeric rubber bands from one tooth to another to improve positioning.
This is typically used after your treatment is completed. We bond custom-made wires to the inside of your upper and lower arches to hold your teeth in place. These are used along with removeable clear retainers.
The Damon® System uses passive self-ligating braces that eliminate the need for elastic or metal “ties”. This treatment moves teeth faster and requires fewer adjustments.
After Hours Care
For situations requiring immediate medical attention, you should contact your doctor or local emergency medical services.
For orthodontic-related emergencies, our office is here to help. Most emergency situations can be temporarily taken care of at home, though. Usually, loose brackets and wires that are causing some discomfort or poking can be covered in wax or pushed back into place. Loose and poking wires can be manipulated using tweezers or a pencil eraser. It’s still important to call the office and set up an appointment to have the issue corrected.
In the event of a more severe issue (an appliance breaks, a wire slips loose, or is preventing the mouth from opening or closing) call our office for after hours instructions.
Keep in mind that there may be some discomfort for a few days after getting your braces on and for several days after an adjustment. In these situations, rinsing with salt water or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may alleviate the pain.
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