You have your braces, now what? It is very important for you to learn how to properly take care of your new braces. You want to have a beautiful smile in the end, while staying away from cavities, white spots and gum problems! Visit our Hygiene Instructions page for more information how to brush and floss more efficiently.

These are your new braces!

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Eating with Braces

With your new braces, it is often hard to gauge what is appropriate to eat or not eat with them. It will take some time getting used to, but please be gentle while eating with them. You will find that certain foods will break the braces off easier. More broken brackets will result in longer treatment time in braces. We want to motivate you to be careful with your braces so each time you come in without a broken bracket, you will receive RFO dollars (see RFO Patient Rewards) that can be saved up for gift certificates!

Sample list of foods to avoid:

  • Crunchy foods – popcorn, ice
  • Sticky foods – caramel, gum, sour patch
  • Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots, pizza crust, bagels

If you are having foods that require biting into, such as an apple or steak, please cut the food into smaller pieces to prevent breakage. Please see Comfort Care for instructions on breakage.

Discomfort and Soreness

It is normal to have generalized soreness and maybe even mobility in your teeth the week after you visit your orthodontist. The soreness is especially noticeable the morning after your appointment. Don’t worry! Discomfort will fade throughout the next week but take appropriate OTC pain medication such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen as needed. Eat a softer diet if needed to help ease the soreness.

It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks and tongue to be irritated by your new braces initially. You can dry the braces in that area with a cotton ball, pinch a small piece of wax from your New Patient’s Bag and place it on the areas affected. The wax is not a permanent solution and will need to be reapplied as needed. Your lips, cheeks and tongue are very resilient and will toughen up to accommodate their new neighbors! You will have to be brave and pull through this short adjustment period too!

Staying Active with Braces

Rest assured! You can most definitely continue to play sports and play musical instruments while you are in braces. We recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance. We can provide over the counter mouth guards for patients who need them. Please ask the front desk the next time you are in.

In the case of a sports emergency, check for any damage of your teeth and appliances. If you notice any loose teeth, please contact us right away and we can work together to solve the problem from there.

Visiting the Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment

It is very important that you continue to visit your general dentist every six months during your orthodontic treatment for teeth cleanings and routine dental checkups. Plaque and calculus build up is easier with braces, and it is important to keep your gums and teeth healthy. If extra dental care is needed, we will be happy to coordinate with your dentist to make sure that you are receiving the best care possible. Please bring the Dental Recall Form for your dentist to fill out.