All About Braces

Brushing and Flossing

When you have braces, the most important thing is to brush and floss regularly.  This keeps the teeth and gums healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment.  Those who do not brush and floss to keep their teeth clean might need to visit their dentist more often for professional cleaning.  A periodontist might also need to be visited during orthodontic treatment by any adults who have a history of gum disease.  The two videos below showcase how braces are properly cared for  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
After your braces are put on, you might feel some slight soreness throughout your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures, for 3 – 5 days.  It can help to take Tylenol or a similar pain reliever for discomfort.  You might also notice that your lips, cheeks and tongue may become slightly irritated for the first two weeks because they too are becoming accustomed to the braces.  We can gladly supply wax to apply to your braces in irritated areas to minimize any discomfort.  If your school, parents, and/or jaw feel ok with it, we have found that chewing sugarless gum helps quite well on pokey wires and is good for preventing tooth decay, too.

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

Loose Wire or Band
If a wire or band comes loose, don’t be alarmed!  This can happen from time to time.  If a wire is sticking out and feels irritating, use a blunt tool (like the eraser end of a pencil) and very gently and carefully try to push the wire back under the archwire.  Your goal should be to simply move it out of the way and reduce soreness until your next appointment.  If you continue to feel tenderness, place some wax or a piece of wet cotton on the wire to shield it and lessen the annoyance.  Remember to call Valley Orthodontic Group ASAP to make an appointment to 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 protective mouthguard to wear while playing contact sports.

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