braces life

Six Month Smiles

Braces-friendly diet & habits

There are foods that can loosen, break or bend wires and bands when you are wearing braces.

Avoid hard foods such as nuts and hard cookies. Foods such as apples and carrots should be chopped into small pieces before eating to reduce the stress on your braces. Avoid sticky foods such as caramels, toffees, muesli or fruit bars. No chewing gum! No chewing ice!

Habits such as nail-biting, unnatural tongue thrusting, pencil chewing and nervous picking at your wires can also break braces. Be aware of these and make an effort to stop them. Remember that damaged braces mean extra appointments, inconvenience and extended treatment time. If you do break your braces, be sure to make an appointment with your orthodontist immediately. Broken braces are not correcting your teeth!

Care at home

When cleaning your mouth while you are wearing braces, you need to pay special attention not only to your teeth and gums, but also to the brackets and wires.

Here are 10 simple steps for keeping your teeth, gums, and braces in great shape:

1. If your orthodontist has fitted you with elastics, remove them before brushing.

2. Using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, compact toothbrush, place your brush at an angle of 45 degrees against the gums. Gently brush along the gum line where the gums and teeth meet, using a small circular motion on each tooth.

3. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth, brushing in a set pattern so that you don’t miss any teeth.

4. Gently brush the braces. Press your toothbrush firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth. Brush in and around all of the brackets and wires. Ensure that you brush under the wires. A battery-powered brush may be helpful.

5. Brush both the inside and the outside surfaces of your teeth using a gentle circular motion on each tooth.

6. If your orthodontist has fitted you with elastics, remove them before brushing.

7. Using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, compact toothbrush, place your brush at an angle of 45 degrees against the gums. Gently brush along the gum line where the gums and teeth meet, using a small circular motion on each tooth.

8. Spend about 10 seconds on each tooth before moving onto the next tooth, brushing in a set pattern so that you don’t miss any teeth.

9. Gently brush the braces. Press your toothbrush firmly enough so that the bristles spread into the gaps between the wire and the tooth. Brush in and around all of the brackets and wires. Ensure that you brush under the wires. A battery-powered brush may be helpful.

10. Brush both the inside and the outside surfaces of your teeth using a gentle circular motion on each tooth.

Soreness

While having braces isn’t necessarily painful, there can be some discomfort experienced when getting your braces placed on your teeth as well as after your adjustment appointments. Rest assured that this is normal and only temporary. After you have your braces placed, any discomfort should subside within five days. You can use things like wax, over-the-counter pain relievers, and warm salt-water rinses to help alleviate your soreness. Please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions that you might have.

Loosening of Teeth

Do you feel like your teeth are getting loose? Don’t worry! That’s completely normal as it’s necessary for your teeth to be able to move. Your teeth will soon settle in their new positions.

Eating with Braces

When eating with braces, especially after the first few days after the braces are placed, we recommend you eat only soft foods. You’ll still be able to enjoy many of your favorite foods throughout your treatment, but be cautious and try to avoid eating hard, crunchy and chewy foods that could damage your braces and thus, prolong your treatment

Foods to Avoid

Use common sense when eating with braces. Foods that are hard, sticky or high in sugar should be avoided as they can damage or break the wires and brackets. Habits such as nail-biting and pen-chewing should also be avoided. Here are some examples of foods to avoid while in braces:

Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

Gum (sugar-free or regular)
Licorice
Sugar Daddies
Toffee
Tootsie Rolls
Caramels
Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

Ice
Nuts
Hard taco shells
French bread crust/rolls
Corn on the cob
Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
Bagels
Chips
Jolly Ranchers
Pizza crust
Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

Cake
Ice Cream
Cookies
Pie
Candy

Only Once a Day:

Soda
Sweetened tea
Gatorade
Kool-Aid
Drinks with sugar

Oral Hygiene

It is important to maintain a proper oral hygiene regimen, especially while in braces. Braces tend to make it harder to brush and floss properly, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing your teeth at least two times a day and flossing once every day. If we notice you are having a hard time keeping your teeth clean, we may recommend you visit your dentist more often. We also recommend that adult patients with a history of periodontal disease visit their periodontist during your orthodontic treatment.

Playing Sports & Instruments

Don’t worry about playing instruments or sports with your braces. Just be careful! We recommend you wear a mouthguard when participating in any sporting activity. With playing instruments, it just may take you a little while to adjust to playing while wearing braces.

Loose Braces

Don’t be worried if a wire or band comes loose. It’s just something that happens sometimes. If a loose or protruding wire is causing discomfort, use the end of a pencil or the back of a spoon to carefully put it under the archwire. You can also use wax or wet cotton to help eliminate any discomfort. Contact us to schedule a repair appointment as soon as possible.

If a piece of your appliance comes off, save it and bring it with you to your repair appointment. If we notice a trend of loose brackets during your treatment, you may need to pay closer attention to your diet or activities you are participating in.

We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions, so get an appointment today.