Answers On How to Live With Braces
What will be different now that you have braces? The first few days will require the most adjustments, but then from there things will get easier. Although we have already discussed caring for your new braces, this section will be a good tool for you to refer to with any questions or concerns that you might have.
Eating with Braces
Just because you got braces does not mean that you can’t enjoy your favorite foods. There are only a few foods to avoid because they could damage your braces while they do their job. Check out the list below and don’t be afraid to ask Dr. Miner about any questions you may have.
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks,
- Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o nuts
- Grains - soft cooked pasta & rice
- Meats/poultry - soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood - tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables - mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables
- Fruits - applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, smoothies
- Treats - ice cream w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Types of foods to avoid with braces:
- Hard foods - nuts, hard candies, etc
- Sticky foods - caramel candies, chewing gum, gummy candy
- Chewy foods - bagels, pizza crust, licorice, etc
- Crunchy foods - popcorn, chips, ice, etc
- Foods that you bite off- corn on the cob, spare ribs, apples, carrots, etc
Discomfort when your teeth move
With new technology, today’s braces are unlike those from the past. With new gentle memory wires and customized self-ligating brackets, your time with braces will be as smooth as possible.
Even though the technology of braces is new, the adjustments are still the same. You will have to get used to the feeling of brackets and wires in your mouth. Luckily there is bracket wax that you can use to make these surfaces smooth until your mouth gets used to them. You can ask Dr. Miner for some at your next visit, or you can also purchase some at your local pharmacy.
Of course with braces and brackets, your teeth will be sore while they move. This soreness or pain is only temporary and will start to fade as your teeth get used to moving. If during this time your teeth feel loose as well do not panic. Your teeth aren’t falling out, it’s simply your teeth moving and they will settle and the surrounding membranes will tighten and your teeth will not feel loose anymore. This is only a temporary feeling and will fade as well like the soreness.
Take Care of your Braces
With Dr. Miner’s help, your braces will be the main cause of your straight teeth. While your braces do the work, it’s up to you how easy you make the job for them. Not brushing your teeth and gums, having damaged equipment, and not using your rubber bands properly can lengthen your treatment. Follow all directions given by Dr. Miner to ensure that your treatment is done quickly and as smoothly as possible so that you can have your new smile sooner!
Brushing your teeth
With braces, it’s very important to brush and floss in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment.
Dr. Miner recommends using an electric toothbrush for brushing with braces. Electric toothbrushes can fall into two categories: mechanical and ultrasonic. Both types have been found to be equally effective, but the most important fact is that electric toothbrushes have been proven to be significantly more effective than brushing with a normal toothbrush. Ask Dr. Miner about which option would work best for you.
You should brush your teeth and gum at least 3 times a day and after any snacks. You will need to brush for at least two minutes to effectively clean your teeth and gums. Dr. Miner has provided you with a timer to help you brush for the same amount of time each time. Some electric toothbrushes come with a timer that can go off every 30 seconds as well. Don’t forget to brush all parts of your mouth including the roof of your mouth and tongue before you rinse.
With braces, you will need to brush more often. This will cause your toothbrush to wear down quicker. Most pharmacies and stores carry electric toothbrush heads for you to purchase. You should replace the heads on your electric toothbrush when the bristles become worn down or frayed.
To clean around and underneath your wires and brackets, you should use an interdental toothbrush. If you need a new one ask Dr. Miner when you come in for your visit. It is also very important to floss as well while you have your braces. This will help keep your gums healthy and clean as well. Ask Dr. Miner, if you have any questions or concerns about brushing your teeth.
Flossing your teeth
For areas between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, use dental floss to remove food particles and plaque. Traditional flossing takes more time and patience when you are wearing braces and requires a floss threader. However, we recommend using Platypus Orthodontic Flossers™ to make flossing easier. If you need help or further instruction, please contact our office.
Playing Sports with Braces
Even though you have braces or a retainer you can still participate in your favorite sports. Dr. Miner recommends that you wear a mouth guard for all sports you participate in to protect your teeth and your braces. Dr. Miner also strongly recommends wearing mouth guards that are designed to be worn with braces. There are mouth guards available at the offices that are braces friendly. Please let Dr. Miner know if you would like to get a mouth guard or if you have any questions or concerns
For any questions or to schedule an appointment about braces, call 781-349-4750.