Life With Braces

TeenBoy_Braces_4Congratulations! You've just begun the amazing process of orthodontic treatment! Major problems seldom occur during orthodontic treatment and most orthodontic emergencies could be eliminated by maintaining great oral hygiene and by avoiding hard or sticky food that can damage the Orthodontic appliances. We ask for your complete cooperation in caring for your braces so we can efficiently provide you with the finest orthodontic treatment and minimize the length of time your braces need to be on.

Keep your teeth clean – prevent decay and gum infection

Brush your teeth after every meal, 3 times/day. Begin by using lots of water to help rinse the food from your teeth. Then add toothpaste to your brush. Massaging your gum tissue will help to prevent areas from becoming swollen and bleeding. Healthy gum tissue does not bleed. Flossing nightly will clean between your teeth where your brush can't reach. If teeth are not kept clean, undesirable, permanent "white spots" may occur around your braces. We highly recommend the use of prescription strength fluoride toothpaste that is available in our office.

Hard and sticky foods to avoid – prevent unnecessary breakage

  • Hard candy (suckers, Jolly Ranchers, jawbreakers – anything you could potentially bite into that is hard)
  • Chewy candy (Snickers, caramel, taffy, Milk duds, gummy bears, Sour Patch Kids, Twix, Mike and Ikes)
  • Popcorn (puff corn is ok)
  • Nuts (whole or chopped) and seeds (sunflower and pumpkin)
  • Ice (do not to chew)
  • Raw vegetables (chop into smaller pieces or eat cooked – celery, carrots)
  • Apples (cut into smaller pieces)
  • Corn on the cob (take it off the cob first)
  • Sugar gum (Bubblicious, Bubble Yum, gum balls)
  • Beef jerky and Slim Jims
  • Non-food items such as: fingernails, pen, pencils and plastic bottle caps

Discomfort

When your first archwires are placed, your teeth will feel sore. This will subside in a few days to a week. Eat softer and colder foods. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol that you would normally take for a headache. For irritation to your cheeks or tongue, we have provided you with orthodontic wax. Use a small piece to form a ball and place it on the offending bracket or wire.

Loose or broken appliance

The brackets and bands can become unattached from the teeth if you eat hard or sticky foods. If you find something loose or broken, please call our office so we can schedule the appropriate amount of time to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Continue to see your general dentist for your recommended cleanings and check-ups.

YOUR TREATMENT IS A TEAM EFFORT AND YOUR COOPERATION IS CRITICAL IN OBTAINING AND MAINTAINING A WONDERFUL SMILE. Do not hesitate to call us with any questions you might have.