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Whether you have just gotten your braces on or you have had braces for a while, this page was designed to help you with any questions you may have about habits you should be forming or emergencies you may be experiencing.
To keep your future smile healthy, you will need to take special care of your teeth and appliance. If you have metal braces, you will want to use an interdental toothbrush to remove food particles and plaque from places under the wire. You will also want to use a special tool to help you continue flossing while you have braces. If you are using clear plastic aligner trays, you will want to brush and rinse your tray every time you brush your teeth.
If you have metal braces, you will need to avoid certain foods to prevent damage and a lengthier treatment.
Additionally, you will want to avoid chewing on pens, pencils, and finger nails as you can also damage your braces with these. With certain foods, like apples, you simply need to cut them into smaller, bite size pieces. But with others, like raw carrots, you will need to cook them until they are soft.
If you have clear, plastic trays, you don’t need to worry about the foods you eat since you remove them to eat and brush. Just be sure to brush your teeth and your tray after every meal!
After you get your braces on for the first time, you may experience soreness in your gums and tenderness to your bite. During this period, of about 4-5 days, you will want to limit your diet to softer foods like fish, eggs, pudding, mashed potatoes, smoothies and so on. You will want to avoid tougher foods like steak, undercooked vegetables, and melons. If you experience pain or discomfort associate with the tenderness, you can take a regular dosage of Tylenol, Advil, or equivalent pain relievers.
As your teeth move into their perfect alignment, you can expect individual teeth to become loose or feel wiggly. This is a normal part of the process. As your teeth move, they become detached from their original position. Once they are in their new position, the ligaments around your roots heal – holding the tooth in its new place.
Playing an instrument will, at first, seem difficult with your new appliance. However, the good news is, you won’t need any special mouth pieces or head gear to play as you had before. You will simply adjust, rather quickly, to your braces and play the same as you always have.
If you are involved in contact sports, or any sports where a hard object has potential to come in forceful contact with your mouth, you will want to be sure to wear a braces-ready mouth guard. Even if the equipment used is softer than equipment used in other sports (such as a softball, tennis ball, soccer ball, and so on), if the equipment has even a slight chance of coming in contact with your mouth, you should make sure to protect it. A braces-ready mouth guard protects both your braces from being damaged as well as your mouth from getting cuts from the braces.
You may come across a loose bracket or poking wire during your treatment. Most of the time, minor damage to brackets or wires can wait until your next appointment. However, if you are experiencing discomfort from a poking wire, you will want to apply dental wax to the problem area to reduce irritation. You can also use the eraser side of the pencil to gently bend the wire away from sensitive tissue. You may need to ask for assistance from a friend or parent if the spot is hard to reach or see.
If you experience an injury to your mouth and your appliance has also been damaged, apply ice immediately and see your regular dentist as soon as possible, as they will have necessary equipment to determine the extent of the injury and apply an appropriate solution. Once your injury has been taken care of, Dr. White will be able to replace and repair your damaged appliance.
If you are experiencing orthodontic trauma, you may contact our on-call technician at 804-972-2998 for further instructions and guidance. Otherwise, please contact the office during regular business hours to schedule a repair appointment.
At White Orthodontics, we want to ensure you are confident with your decision for not only your choice in orthodontic treatment, but also for the orthodontic practice you choose to start your treatment. To ensure you are completely confident in your decision, we offer a few no-obligation, no-pressure ways to get started!