Life With Braces
Now that you’ve gotten braces at Rim Orthodontics, how do you take care of them? Here are some important tips to help you take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
Although the braces are glued on to the teeth well, certain foods can dislodge brackets and cause archwires to slip out of the brackets. While you have braces, you will need to avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods. We also recommend reducing your sugary food and drink intake to minimize the risk of cavities and stains on the teeth.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
After having braces for a couple of months, it is easy to forget that you have them and sometimes forget about being careful with them. Broken and loose brackets can cause discomfort and delay. Please keep that in mind and make the best food choices to prevent treatment delay.
Taking Care of Your Braces and Teeth
Taking care of your teeth and gums becomes extra important when you wear braces, and caring for them means taking the time to brush your teeth and floss regularly. You'll want to be gentle when you brush or floss in order to avoid damaging the wires and brackets.
Braces have countless tiny spaces to trap food, and this trapped food causes plaque, which can lead to many other dental problems. Because of this, it's very important to brush your teeth after every meal (snacks count, too), to rinse with mouthwash, and to floss at least once a day. Check your teeth and gums after brushing to make sure all of the plaque and food debris are off. The area next to the gum is a commonly missed area for brushing and need special care. This may seem tedious or excessive, but neglecting your oral hygiene can lead to serious oral health problems, force you to spend additional time in braces, or cause unsightly staining on your teeth.
Dealing with Discomfort
During the process of moving teeth, some soreness and discomfort is expected. Generally expect about three to four days of sore teeth after the initial placement of braces. Subsequent visits to our Redwood City orthodontic office may involve changing your archwires or activating them. You may have some soreness after the visit, but it should subside in a few days. Most patients find over-the-counter pain medication helpful to alleviate their discomfort.
Orthodontic movement involves moving teeth through bone. This process requires bone remodeling where bone is added and removed to allow tooth movement. The teeth can become loose during the active part of the bone remodeling process and is a normal part of orthodontic treatment.
If you play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces. Let Dr. Rim or a member of our team know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
If you are injured while playing sports, be sure to immediately check your mouth and braces for damage. If you notice that your teeth are loose or your brackets are damaged, contact our Redwood City office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.