The following are examples of foods that should NOT be eaten because they can cause damage to your braces and/or appliances, which can increase your time in treatment. This list is not all-inclusive so please use common sense when deciding what to eat while in treatment.
*It is very important to limit, or even omit, acidic drinks such as sodas, lemonade, orange juice, gatorade, powerade, energy drinks, and vitamin water. These are all very acidic and can cause scarring of the teeth. If phosphoric acid and/or citric acid are on the ingredient list it is best to try to avoid drinking it to prevent damage to your teeth.
*Please refrain from chewing on fingernails, pens and pencils -these can damage your appliances too!
Try to brush your teeth after every meal, if possible, and before going to bed. If a toothbrush is unavailable, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to remove leftover food particles. The most crucial time to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth is just before bedtime. Brushing and flossing removes bacteria and acids that can lead to tooth decay, periodontal disease, and bad breath.
Technique is very important when brushing and flossing your teeth with braces. A toothbrush with soft bristles (and fluoride toothpaste) should be used in a small circular motion, angled at a 45 degree angle both towards and away from the gum line, cleaning only one to two teeth at a time. Also be sure to “wiggle” the bristles underneath the wire and between the braces. After brushing, floss threaders or superfloss can be used to help guide floss underneath the wire. Then wrap the floss around your middle fingers and guide it between the teeth with your index fingers. Using an up and down motion, form a “C” around each side of the tooth you are cleaning. Excellent oral hygiene will require 10-15 minutes of brushing and flossing each night — plan on it, it’s IMPORTANT!!
Loose or broken braces and appliances can increase your time in treatment, so be sure to take great care of them! Luckily, true orthodontic emergencies are rare.
Please call the office as soon as possible for advice if something feels loose or if a wire is “pokey.” Repair of broken brackets/bands/appliances can be time-critical in some instances. If something is poking you and irritating the inside of the lip or cheek we recommend placing a small amount of soft orthodontic wax where it feels uncomfortable, to act as a cushion until it can be addressed at our office. Be sure to dry the area where you would like to place the wax to help it adhere better.
It is completely normal for your teeth to feel a little loose shortly after starting treatment, and is not considered an orthodontic emergency! Your braces must first slightly loosen your teeth to be able to move them into the correct position. Once your treatment is complete, and the teeth are in the correct position, you teeth will no longer be loose. If your teeth feel loose for longer than a few days, or if you are overly concerned, please call the office for an appointment.
If a separator (also known as a spacer) comes out, please call the office for advice on whether it needs to be replaced.
During the first few days after getting braces or an appliance, and sometimes after routine adjustments, you will likely feel some discomfort. We recommend taking Ibuprofen, as prescribed on the bottle, as needed. *unless you are allergic to it!
You can still play any and all sports while in orthodontic treatment, but please ALWAYS wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and soft tissues while doing so. We have mouthguards at our office and will give you one when you start treatment, if you need one. We want to make sure your teeth are well protected while engaging in sports and athletic activities.