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Life with Braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

Don't worry,there are lots of foods and treats you can still enjoy!  However, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice, jerky
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, thick chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel, Starburst, Gum, Sour Patch & Gummies
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob (cut it off the cob), apples & carrots should be cut into small pieces

Great Foods to START with your new braces:

  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — pasta, rice, soups
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, oranges
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake & cookies

Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever, like Tylenol. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We should have provided you with some wax to put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; 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.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose if you eat something hard or sticky. If this happens, please call the office as soon as this happens (you can leave a message - 517-278-7900) so that we can plan for repair of your appliance.  If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

Take Care of Your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, Dual Blocks, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. We keep orthodontic mouthguards in stock at the front desk in a variety of colors and sizes.  These mouthguards run about $10 each for our patients. 

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any severly loose or damaged teeth, please contact Dr. Whateley at his emergency number right away.   

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