Life With Braces
LIFE WITH BRACES
We look forward to meeting you on your first visit to our office. During this time, we will help you get acquainted with our office and learn about your orthodontic need. We understand that each patient’s orthodontic treatment is different, and we promise to give you the personal attention you deserve. Your first orthodontic visit will consist of an examination and discussion of potential treatment options. This important visit will address your orthodontic needs to determine if this is the proper time to begin treatment. Your braces will be attached quickly and easily to your teeth, but a full day is necessary for the bands to completely affix. It is a good idea to wait several hours after getting braces before eating solid food. You may find it easier to eat soft foods for the first couple of days while you are becoming accustomed to eating with your new braces.
The braces may feel a little awkward at first and the teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal and will go away soon. It may feel as though the braces are “sticking out,” but this sensation will also soon pass. Small pieces of orthodontic wax may be used if the brackets irritate cheek tissues. The orthodontic office always has extra wax in case you run out so call them if you need more.
Many patients will experience some discomfort at first, but the soreness will go away within the first few days or even hours of getting braces. It is impossible to predict exactly when the tenderness will end. Some patients choose to take over the counter pain relievers the first day of treatment to lessen the discomfort. To ensure the best result take the medications before your appointment.
Braces are attached to your teeth with a strong adhesive, but may become loose as a result of eating certain foods. It is also possible that wires could become bent or broken without proper care. Since it is best to achieve orthodontic treatment goals with as few disruptions as possible, a well-balanced diet is important to ensure a healthy environment for your teeth.
Patients should avoid foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. They should also avoid any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals.
The foods below are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances and are examples of what NOT to eat:
hard or sticky candy
crisp taco shells
Eating restricted foods may cause problems which will result in extra visits for repairs and will ultimately extend the length of treatment. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy these restricted foods after completing your treatment. Any specific questions about food choices should be directed to your orthodontist and staff.
Brushing and Flossing with Braces
Patients should see their general dentist regularly while wearing braces.
Insert floss behind arch wire. Gently clean sides of teeth and under gums with an up-and-down motion. Floss between all teeth once a day.
- Use a soft toothbrush! Brush slowly! Take Your Time!
- Brush 4 times a day: morning, noon, dinner, bedtime
- Brush under, above, behind and around ALL surfaces of the teeth AND braces
- Brush inside and outside of both top and bottom gums
- Rinse mouth thoroughly after brushing