Now that you have started your orthodontic care, it is important you know how to care for your braces. There are going to be some changes in your normal routines for the duration of your treatment, so it is best to be prepared. Susan Baloul, DMD, MS, DScD, is a dual-trained specialist in orthodontics and periodontics at Elegant Orthodontics. Dr.Baloul treats adults in the Boston, Brookline, Norwood and Framingham, MA areas with orthodontics to straighten teeth and correct a misaligned bite or jaw.
Eating While You Have Braces
One of the biggest changes to your daily routine will be the change in your diet. There are some foods that can damage your new appliances and cause delays in your treatment. You will need to avoid eating these foods so your treatment is as effective as possible. Your straight, beautiful smile will be worth it when your treatment is finished!
Foods to Avoid
- Sticky Foods – chewy candies like caramels or fruit chews, chewing gum, taffy
- Hard Foods – hard candies, nuts, thin crust pizzas
- Crunchy Foods – potato chips, popcorn, pretzels
- Chewy Foods – chewing gum, soft bread, bagels
- Fruits and Raw Vegetables – corn on the cob, apples, pears, carrots, etc
Foods You CAN Eat
- Light crackers or cookies
- Mashed potatoes
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Pasta – mac and cheese, spaghetti, ravioli, etc
- Soft cooked rice
- Soft cheese
- Soft cooked meats – lunch meats, chicken, ground beef, etc
- Ice cream and milkshakes
Soreness or Discomfort When Starting Treatment
You may notice your teeth and mouth feel a little sore when you first get your braces. This is normal and will typically go away with time. Your teeth and mouth are just getting used to the new directions the braces and appliances are giving them. In most cases, gargling a solution made from one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water will help relieve the pain. Swish this around in your mouth and gargle for about two minutes. Spit all of the saltwater after gargling. Do NOT swallow the saltwater.
If the pain does not go away with rinsing, you may try taking a mild pain reliever such as Tylenol. Your lips, cheeks and tongue may also get irritated in the first few weeks as they get used to the braces and wires. In most cases, we can provide you with some wax to cover the braces to keep them from rubbing and getting tender or sore. Call our office if you are having any issues or concerns or if you need some wax!
Teeth That Feel Loose
You may notice your teeth feel a little loose as you work through your treatment. The braces must first loosen your teeth before they can be moved to the correct position. Once the teeth have been moved to the desired location and position, they will no longer feel loose.
Broken or Loose Wires and Bands
Sometimes your bands and wires may break or come loose. Please contact our office as soon as possible if this happens. We will want to check and repair your appliance to ensure your treatment continues without delays. If any piece completely breaks off, please save it and bring it with you to your next appointment.
In some cases, you can fix a loose wire using the eraser end of a pencil to carefully push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is poking your cheek or causing irritation, use some wax or a wet cotton ball, or OrthoDots to cover the broken wire.
Your Role in Treatment
Orthodontic treatment requires a commitment from you in order to achieve the best results. Damaged appliances from eating the wrong foods or negligence can result in an increased treatment time. Your jaw and teeth can only move into the desired position if you are consistently wearing your bands, retainer, or other appliances recommended by Dr. Baloul.
Having braces doesn’t mean you have to stop playing sports! With the proper protection, you can still practice and play the sports you love. We recommend you wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth as well as your appliances while you are playing. Let Dr. Baloul know if you need a mouthguard, and she will explain your options for finding the right guard for you.
Contact Elegant Orthodontics for more information and to schedule your first appointment. We serve patients in and near Boston, Brookline, Norwood and Framingham, MA.