All About Braces

Brushing and Flossing

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, 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. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

There are certain foods you should and shouldn’t eat when you have braces. Try to stick to soft foods for the first day or two, and avoid things like raw vegetables, tough meats, and hard breads. Eventually you will be able to eat foods like raw carrots again, but it is wise to choose softer nutritious foods if possible. Keep in mind that you should always take measures to protect your orthodontic appliances while eating when you have braces.

Foods to Avoid

A lot of orthodontic practices hand out lists of “forbidden foods”.  Valley Orthodontic Group will not do that.  In his 25+ years of practice, Dr. Grob hasn’t had a large problem with patients having cavities or breakage.  However, it is very wise to avoid consuming a lot of sugary foods and drinks like soda, sweetened juices, candy, etc. Ice cubes should also be avoided, and don’t forget to cut up crunchy things like apples into smaller pieces.  We also suggest always brushing after eating and doing a fluoride rinse at bedtime for extra insurance.

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. Take Tylenol or whatever you normally take for headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces. We will supply wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort. If parents, school, your jaw etc. is OK, we find that sugarless gum works great on pokey wires and is actually good for preventing decay.

Loosening of Teeth

Your teeth will loosen slightly as they are finding their new “groove”, and it is OK!

Loose Wire or Band

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 carefully, gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.

Rubber Band Wear

Rubber bands are typically worn at the end of one’s orthodontic treatment to properly mesh the teeth.  In order to work, the bands need to be worn FULL TIME.  Teeth can almost always be made straight by braces, but the level of quality of the finished product almost always has to do with the proper use of rubber bands.

Athletics

It is important to let us know if you are involved in any sports.  We will provide you with a custom protective mouth-guard to wear while playing contact sports.

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