All About Braces

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 – 5 days. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for the first two weeks as they become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort, but we recommend taking Tylenol or whatever you normally take for headache or discomfort.

Loosening of Teeth, Wire or band

Don’t be alarmed if your teeth, wire or band comes loose. This is to be expected throughout treatment because teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire or call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.

Rubber Band Wear and Athletics

To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time… so please … follow instructions.

Athletics

It’s important you let us know if you play sports. A protective mouthguard is provided for playing contact sports.

Oral Hygiene

Interdental Toothbrush

A Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Use it gently to avoid damaging your wires while brushing. The Proxabrush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Antibacterial Mouthwash

Peroxyl, a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse, will reduce inflammation to your gums and cheeks, prevent infection and decrease irritation that may develop from your braces. Rinse your mouth with two teaspoons of Peroxyl (half a capful) for one minute and then spit it out. Use up to four times daily following your schedule for brushing: after meals (or after school) and before bed.

Topical Fluoride

Phos-Flur is a sodium fluoride gel that helps prevent tooth decay while you are wearing braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. At bedtime, place a small strip of Phos-Flur on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. Do not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after applying.

Cleaning Your Removable Appliance

Brush your removable appliance every day as a part of your regular brushing and flossing schedule. Food particles and plaque can accumulate on your appliance just like your teeth, so soak the appliance daily. Dissolve a Polident, Efferdent or other denture-cleaning tablet into a glass of tap water at room temperature and soak your appliance once daily to prevent plaque and bacterial accumulation.

Eating with Braces

Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided because they can break or damage wires and brackets or get caught between them. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid.

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

It’s important to regularly check your braces for bent or loose wires and brackets. In the event of a loose/broken wire or bracket, call our office immediately to arrange an appointment for repair.