Life With Braces
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash can relieve this soreness. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take an over the counter pain reliever in the recommended dosage every 4-6 hours. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You may use wax on the braces to lessen this. We can show you how to do this. Do not hesitate to ask!
Loosening of Teeth
A feeling of loose teeth is to be expected throughout treatment. This is a normal part of orthodontics. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their corrected positions.
Occasionally, a wire or band can come loose. Please call our office to describe the situation and receive instruction. In the meantime, here are some helpful tips to get you by until your appointment.
If a wire is poking your gums, use a blunt instrument (the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and gently push the irritating wire under the arch wire. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place orthodontic wax on the wire to reduce irritation. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
If a bracket breaks, please give us a call and we can schedule a repair visit. You can place wax on the broken brace to stabilize it (if it’s still attached to the orthodontic wire). If it has completely come off the wire, please bring it to your repair appointment.
To successfully complete your treatment plan, you must work together with our team. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances can lengthen the treatment time.
It is very important that your teeth and gums remain healthy during orthodontic treatment. If we notice you could use an extra cleaning, we will recommend you schedule that with your general or pediatric dentist.
Please let us know if you play sports. A sports mouth guard is advised for playing contact sports. We are able to fabricate custom guards for our patients. If you suffer an emergency in which a tooth is loosened or an appliance is damaged, please reach out to us as soon as possible for guidance. If you experience bleeding or trauma to your lips or face including knocking out a tooth, try to stay calm and use ice to control any bleeding or swelling. Seek help from our office or the Emergency Department of the hospital if severe.
Eating with Braces
For the first day or so, stick to soft foods, but moving your teeth frequently by chewing will reduce the degree of pain and its duration. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. You’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces. Foods to avoid can include chewy, crunchy, sticky, and hard foods. We will give you a comprehensive list at the start of your braces journey. Try not to chew on anything hard (i.e.: pens, pencils, fingernails). These can damage your braces.