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  • Writer's pictureBelle Mead Orthodontics

Life With Braces: Essential Things to Know

Congratulations on getting your braces! Soon, you'll be ready to unveil your straight and beautiful smile. 

But while you have braces on, there are adjustments to make to prevent prolonging your orthodontic treatments. Look at some of these below and how to care for your braces through proper cleaning techniques! 

Soreness during the adjustment period

For a few days after your braces are put in place, you may experience some soreness or discomfort as your teeth begin to shift. This is totally normal! Don't worry, the sensitivity won't continue for long. 

To manage the discomfort during this period, eat soft foods, gargle a saltwater solution, or use over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil®) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®). 

Eating with braces

Do you love those crunchy popcorn or can't go a day without snacking on candies? These indulgences have to go while you are wearing braces. 

That's because these foods and some others can damage the wires, brackets, and bands of your new braces. So avoid foods that can break or dislodge your appliances, such as: 

Foods to avoid with braces

  • Hard foods: Ice, hard candies, nuts, hard veggies like carrots, hard fruits 

  • Chewy foods: Bagels, chewy sweets like licorice, chewing gum

  • Sticky foods: Caramel, marshmallows, gummy candies, fruit snacks

  • Crunchy foods: Chips, pretzels, popcorn

  • Foods you have to bite into: Apples and pears, hard sandwiches, carrots, corn on the cob

Foods you can enjoy with braces

Of course, you can still enjoy lots of food during your orthodontic treatment. Examples are: 

  • Diary products: Soft cheeses, milkshakes, yogurt, ice cream, pudding 

  • Soft fruits: Bananas, berries, melons, peeled grapes, applesauce, mangoes

  • Vegetables: Beans, avocados, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes

  • Meat/poultry: Soft-cooked fish, tender cuts of beef, meatloaf, shredded chicken, lunch meats 

  • Grains: Pasta, soft bread, soft cooked rice, lentils

  • Treats: soft cookies, ice cream, Jell-O, soft chocolate, soft cakes

Loose brackets and bands

During your orthodontic treatment, you may experience issues such as loose brackets and bands or poking wires. 

If the loose bracket or band is still attached to the wire, cover it with wax to reduce discomfort. Keep any part that has come off and bring it to the office. If your braces are dislodged or displaced, contact us to adjust or replace them immediately. 

Taking care of your braces is essential to preventing damage and prolonging your orthodontic journey. Also, consistently wear retainers, rubbers, headgear, and other prescribed appliances to move your teeth and jaw into position and ensure your treatment is on track. 

Playing sports with braces

Are you an athlete or take pleasure in participating in sports activities? The good news is you can still play sports. However, you have to take special care to protect your braces and teeth from injury by wearing the right mouthguard. 

Maintaining oral hygiene with braces

It's even more critical to keep your teeth clean when wearing braces. If you do not, the brackets and wires can trap food particles, causing tooth decay and gum diseases

Brushing with braces

Brush your teeth after every meal using a soft toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth. Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste. 

Brush carefully in small, circular motions, covering all the areas around the brackets to dislodge any stuck food particles. Then rinse with water. 

Now that you are brushing more frequently, your toothbrush bristles will fray faster. Replace it as soon as possible when this happens. 

Flossing with braces

Floss daily, preferably at night, to remove particles in hard-to-reach areas. Using a floss threader, get behind the wire and floss along the sides of each tooth in an up-and-down motion, reaching the gum line. You can also consider using a water flosser, which removes plaque and food particles by shooting a pressurized stream of water.

Book a consultation with the expert orthodontist today

Whether you just want to begin your orthodontic treatment, are experiencing issues with your braces, or have other questions, feel free to book an appointment with us. Let's get you closer to achieving the smile you've always wanted. 


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