All About Braces

How should I brush my teeth with braces?

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss braces regularly, so the teeth and gums are healthy during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. So, how do you brush your teeth with braces? Start by brushing your teeth the same way you did without braces.

  • Apply toothpaste to your toothbrush.
  • Move the brush in gently tight circular strokes across your teeth and braces.
  • Take your time and brush your teeth thoroughly. You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes making sure to clean each of your brackets.
  • Remember to brush the fronts, backs of all your teeth. We want to make sure to clean all of the chewing surfaces on your teeth.
  • Give your tongue some attention too to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

Watch the two videos below on the proper orthodontic care with braces during treatment.

What foods should not be eaten with braces?

What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing teeth braces.


Foods to Avoid while wearing Braces

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged to dental braces will cause treatment to take longer.

What Foods can you eat while wearing Braces?

Just because a few of your favorite foods may be off-limits many of the tasty foods you love are still fair game. Here is a list of some of foods you can eat while we straighten your teet.

  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged to dental braces will cause treatment to take longer.

How can I ease the pain of braces?

People always talk about how much braces hurt, but there is really not that much discomfort. When you get your braces, or you get them adjusted you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 – 5 days. This discomfort is usually easy to manage. Here are 5 ways to relieve the pain of braces.

  1. Oral anesthetics – Rubbing an oral anesthetic like Orajel or Anbesol directly on your sensitive teeth and gums is an easy way to get quick pain relief.
  2. Over-the-counter pain medicine -Another option is to take over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol or Ibuprofen to help reduce your pain. Always follow the dosage recommendations of the medicine carefully. If you are still feeling pain and discomfort after a couple of days, contact us immediately.
  3. An ice pack – Cold helps to reduce inflammation and numb your mouth so you don’t feel as much pain. Just apply an ice pack to the outside of your mouth to help reduce pain that may be caused by your braces.
  4. Cold ice water – If you don’t have an Ice Pack then a simple glass of cold ice water can do in a pinch. This can numb your mouth just like an ice pack providing some relieve from the pain and discomfort.
  5. Orthodontic wax – The inside of your lips, cheeks, and gums may become irritated as your mouth adjusts to having braces. We will provide you a special type of wax to help protect the soft tissues in your mouth by creating a barrier that keeps the sharp ends of the brackets from irritating your mouth.

Can braces make my teeth lose?

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal.
You can expect some loosening of your teeth within the first 1-2 days after fitting your braces. Don’t worry! It’s normal, although it can be concerning if you are not expecting it. Your braces will need to loosen the teeth before they will move them into the proper position. Once your teeth have finished moving, they will tighten up and be better than new.

What to do if a braces wire comes loose?

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If you can’t get it out of the way or irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place orthodontic wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Then call our office as soon as possible for an orthodontic care appointment so we can check and repair the problem.

Do I Really Need to Wear Rubber Bands with My Braces?

The main our patients are instructed to wear rubber bands is to correct their bite. Teeth that don’t fit together properly make chewing and talking harder. Plus, a poor bite and misaligned teeth have a negative impact on your smile. Rubber bands are an important element of orthodontic treatment. To successfully complete the treatment, you 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, forgetfulness, not following instructions, and failing to call us to repair damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time. So, please, follow the instructions we provide. It will make everything easier and faster.

Can you play sports with braces?

Yes. One of the main concerns student-athletes and their parents have is being able to continue to play sports. We understand that schools sports are a big part of after-school activities and social interaction. Choosing to straighten your teeth and improve your overall oral health should not get in the way of that.
If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. We will provide a protective orthodontic mouthguard so you can continue to play and reduce your risk of injury. Using an orthodontic mouthguard is a great way to protect your teeth, mouth, and the braces themselves. According to the American Dental Association, an appropriate protective mouthguard can lower the odds of damage or injury nearly twofold.