CARING FOR YOUR BRACES AND APPLIANCES
Orthodontics should not cause any major changes in your day to day activities. You can still do most of the things you are used to doing. You can still sing, play musical instruments and take part in sports. If you participate in sports we recommend you wear a mouth guard. We will provide you with our “Pink Page” which is a guide to help you remember what foods are good for you, but not for your braces. When choosing your meals or snacks it is important to choose softer foods and avoid foods that are too hard, chewy, crunchy, or sticky. We recommend avoiding pizza crust, thick or toasted bagels, and thick sandwiches. If you just can’t resist, it is best to cut them into small bite size pieces. Any tearing or hard biting is likely to dislodge a brace. Chopping up apples, carrots and other raw vegetables is also recommended.
A good rule to follow is: if you think it’s too hard or chewy, it probably is!
After an adjustment, you may experience a little more sensitivity. Therefore, we recommend eating a softer meal. A good choice would be pasta, soup, yogurt or something similar. Please do not chew on pens, pencils or ice. Gum is also prohibited. Please take care to follow the hygiene instructions that were reviewed with you at the bonding visit by our assistants.
Having braces should not cause any major changes in your day-to-day activities. You can still dine out, sing, play a musical instrument, or have pictures taken. With proper care and maintenance, you can promote your oral health while on your way to a more beautiful smile.
If you play a wind instrument, several companies make mouth guards and lip protectors, although you may not need them.
For certain sports it is a good idea to wear a mouth guard. Ask us about recommendations based on your specific needs when you come in for your next appointment.
When making your dining choice, choose softer foods and avoid foods that are particularly hard, chewy, crunchy or sticky. Cut or tear pizza and sandwiches before eating them rather than trying to bite through them. Chopping up items like apples or carrots before eating them is a good idea. When your braces are adjusted, your teeth may be a little more sensitive, so choosing softer food like pasta, soups or a healthy smoothie can be a good choice. Please avoid chewing gum and chewing on ice.
Carefully follow all instructions you are given regarding your dental care. Specific steps may vary depending on the type of braces you have. Be sure to brush thoroughly after any meal or snack . It is important to keep your teeth and braces as clean as possible to avoid potential problems. Also, rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing. It’s a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush when you will be away from home. Before going to bed at night be sure to brush thoroughly and floss carefully. It may take a little extra time but this is an important step in maintaining your oral hygiene on your way to a better smile and healthier teeth.
Use a soft rounded-bristle toothbrush that is in good condition. Toothbrushes will wear out faster and need to be replaced more often when wearing braces, so be sure to keep some spare toothbrushes on hand. When brushing you should also brush your tongue and rinse thoroughly when done.
Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene. With braces it may take a little more time and practice, and a floss threader may be necessary to get the floss under the archwire. Make sure you clean along and under the gum lines with floss each night before going to bed. After you have properly brushed and flossed, your braces should look clean and shiny, making it easy to see the edges of the braces.
If you have a removeable orthodontic appliance, it is important to clean it each night and morning to remove dental plaque. Remove the appliance and clean it with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Wear a mouth guard when playing sports to protect the mouth from injury.
Keep these materials on hand to help with the most common orthodontic maintenance and minor emergencies:
Interdental or Proxabrushes fit between teeth and help patients to clean around wires without damaging them.
Non-medicated orthodontic relief wax can be placed over brackets or wires that may be irritating gum tissues.
Antibacterial Mouthwash can be used to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. For minor sores in the mouth, Peroxyl, an antiseptic rinse containing hydrogen peroxide may be used up to 4 times per day after brushing. Refer to the product label for specific instructions.
Dental floss, an interproximal brush or a toothpick can be used for removing food that gets caught between teeth or wires.
Sterile tweezers can be used to replace orthodontic rubber bands that have come off.
A Q-tip or pencil eraser can be used to push a wire up against a tooth if it has come loose and is irritating the cheeks or gums. If it is not possible to reposition the wire so it is more comfortable, place wax over the end of the wire and call our office so that we can set a time to have the wire adjusted and put back into place.
Salt is used for warm salt-water rinses, which help heal sore gums and tissues in the mouth.
Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help with the temporary discomfort that sometimes occurs for the first day or two after an orthodontic adjustment.
Topical Anesthetic Treatments, such as Orabase or Ora-Gel, can be applied with with a Q-tip to any abrasions or sores in the mouth should they occur.
Please print out “The Pink Page” and place it where you will see it every day.
Click for a printable version of “The Pink Page”
Smile! You are on your way to having straight teeth. You may experience some discomfort a few hours after your visit. This is completely normal and to be expected. Some patients say that their teeth feel achy and sore. You can take any pain reliever that you would normally take for a headache such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
You may experience a change in your bite and/or spaces where you previously had none. This is part of the process of rearranging things to create a proper bite. We will be making adjustments to the wires every visit to help achieve this.
At first, eating may feel different and difficult. We recommend softer foods in the beginning until you get used to your braces. Cheek irritation is common. We have provided wax for you in your kit that can be placed over the brackets to help cover them and protect your cheeks from any roughness. It takes a few weeks for your cheeks and tongue to adapt to the braces.
Please notify us if a bracket becomes loose right away by calling us during our regular office hours. It is important for us to know in advance of your regular appointment so that we can schedule an appropriate amount of time for you. If we feel that it needs to be repaired right away we will provide you with an appointment as soon as possible. However, we may elect to repair it at your next scheduled appointment.
On occasion a wire may feel long in the back and cause irritation. You may try to clip it yourself by following the instructions in the emergency section or please feel free to call the office. We can quickly clip it for you!
If a colored tie is missing or has fallen off not to worry. This is not considered an emergency. We will replace it at your next visit.
- Please brush your braces when you brush your teeth.
- Don’t eat any sticky, chewy candy or gum. These can loosen the braces.
- Don’t eat nuts or popcorn. These can get caught under the wires and in the braces and can cause irritation of your gums or can result in an infection. Please substitute with puffed corn.