Finally got your braces, but need a few tips to get used to them? Here’s what to know about life with braces.
Adjusting to Life With Braces
When your braces are brand new, you may have some soreness or inflammation. Although this will go away relatively quickly, there are a few things you can do to ease this transition. You can take over-the-counter medication, such as Tylenol or Advil, for pain relief. You can also ask Dr. Pearson for wax, which you can place atop brackets if they’re rubbing against your gums uncomfortably.
Foods to Avoid
When you have braces, you need to make some smart dietary adjustments to avoid loosening your brackets and wires. The foods to avoid include:
- Chewy food: caramel, licorice, taffy, bagels, pizza crust
- Crunchy food: popcorn, raw celery, thick pretzels
- Sticky food: gum, gummy bears or other gummy candy
- Hard food: hard candy like peppermint or butterscotch, nuts, raw veggies
- Food that you bite into: corn on the cob, raw apples, chicken drumsticks or wings, bone-in ribs
Of course, you should also avoid chewing on or eating anything that is not actually food. That includes ice, pencils, and your fingernails.
Other than the types of foods above, you can enjoy just about everything. If you love a certain food so much that you just can’t quit it, look for alternative ways to eat it. For example, corn on the cob is perfectly fine if you just shave the corn off the cob, and you can enjoy apples if you just cut them up rather than eat them whole.
Playing Sports With Braces
If you play sports, it’s essential that you use proper protection to prevent possible braces breakage and mouth damage. Dr. Pearson can deliver a special braces mouth guard, at no cost, that cushions your braces to keep you safe and comfortable while you play sports.
Braces hygiene is definitely different than taking care of your teeth without braces. While it might take you a short time to get adjusted to the new hygiene routine with braces, soon it will be second nature and will take hardly any extra time out of your day. Some braces hygiene tips to practice include:
- Take your time, making sure to brush and floss around and in between both teeth and braces brackets
- Brush your teeth after meals to prevent food debris from clinging to your braces
- Rinse your teeth thoroughly or use mouthwash after you floss to get dislodged debris out of your mouth
- Try an interdental brush, tiny disposable brushes which are specially made to get into the areas under braces wires, after regular brushing
Of course, it’s also important to see your orthodontist on a regularly scheduled basis. Most patients see Dr. Pearson every 4-6 weeks while they have braces, but your treatment plan is customized for your specific needs. It’s very important to come into Pearson Orthodontics for each of your appointments because they’re a chance for Dr. Pearson to adjust your braces to keep your straightening on track and help you reach your straight smile goals.