Life With Braces

Your Life With Braces

When you first get your braces, you may feel general tenderness in your mouth for the first three to five days, especially when chewing or biting.

To relieve this:

  • Try rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash.
  • You can use acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Place wax on the brackets/areas to lessen the discomfort from lips, cheeks and tongue.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, do not worry since this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

Take care of your appliances

Be sure to take care of all of your appliances. Damaged appliances and parts can increase the length of your treatment process. Your teeth and jaw can move into their correct positions only if you consistently wear the elastics, retainer or other appliances prescribed by your orthodontist.

Playing sports with braces

You can still play sports with braces! You just have to make sure you are protecting your teeth and the brackets by wearing a mouth guard. If the patient will be playing a contact sport that requires a mouth guard, please let us know and ask one of our staff members to give you one of our orthodontic friendly mouth guards with instructions.

Brushing and Flossing

Now that you have your braces, be sure to brush your teeth and gums better than ever. Extra care must be taken in the area between the gums and the braces.

Failing to brush and floss your teeth can lead to:

  • Cavities
  • Enamel decalcification (permanent white scars on the teeth)
  • Gum disease (periodontitis)
  • Unpleasant odours
  • Removing braces before completion date

Remember the following:

  • Brush teeth three (3) times a day. Check to see if all your teeth and brackets appear shiny
  • Brush for two (2) minutes each time
  • Floss your teeth once daily

What not to eat

Wearing orthodontic appliances will affect the foods you can and cannot eat. Most foods are not a problem if they are bite sized. However, you should avoid hard brittle and soft sticky foods.

Hard foods = broken brackets and appliances

Sticky foods = bent or broken wires

Hard Foods

  • Chewing ice.
  • Crisp hard French fries.
  • Nuts and hard popcorn kernels.
  • Hard candy (candy canes, Jolly Ranchers)
  • Chewing meat with bones (chicken wings and spareribs)
  • Extra crunchy chips such as Fritos, Doritos
  • Pizza crust

Sticky Foods

  • Gum (even sugar free)
  • Caramels
  • Taffy
  • Jellybeans, licorice, jujubes
  • Skittles, Starburst
  • Gooey or hard chocolate bars

Other Food Tips:

  • Cut fruits and vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Carrots should be steamed before biting into
  • Break up or tear hard or crusty bread into bite-sized pieces
  • Cut corn off the cob.
  • Soft tacos can be used instead of hard-shelled tacos
  • Pizza – Avoid tearing hard crusts with your teeth
  • Habits to Avoid
  • Biting with your front teeth
  • Picking at braces with your hands
  • Fingernail biting
  • Pen chewing

Broken/Loose Appliances

  • If a bracket breaks or something becomes loose, call us to let us know and send us a picture. We can usually figure out if we need to see you before your next appt. based on the photo. Typically, if a bracket breaks before midway through treatment, it is ok to leave until next appt. If a bracket breaks and we are closer to the end of treatment, this is more important and we may want to see you before your next scheduled appt.
  • Brackets you are hooking elastics up to are more important and we will want to see you for those.