When you first get your braces, teeth may become sore. Take what you would normally take for a headache until your teeth begin to feel better. (An anti-inflammatory such as Advil, Motrin, etc will typically work best.) Because everyone is different, soreness can vary anywhere between a few days up to a week.
While you are adjusting to your new braces, you may develop some irritations or sores in your mouth. Included in your take-home bag is some wax, please use as follows: Roll a pea size amount between your fingers to soften. Apply to the part of the braces that is causing the irritation. Rinsing with warm saltwater or Peroxyl multiple times a day will relieve soreness and aid the healing process. For saltwater solution, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously for at least one minute. Repeat throughout the day as needed.
Brushing your teeth and braces
During your orthodontic treatment, chewing and brushing may feel different or even strange. It is also normal for teeth to feel loose throughout your treatment, so do not be alarmed. Unclean teeth and gums can cause white spots, tooth decay, mouth odor, and unsightly appearance. Please brush and floss your teeth 3 times daily, typically after meals, to prevent food and plaque buildup. The braces act as shelves on your teeth and cause food and plaque to become stuck above and below them. When brushing, use small circular motions or back and forth wiggles about 5 seconds each tooth above and below the bracket. Then brush the chewing surfaces and behind your teeth. When finished, look in a mirror to see if you have missed any places. Your orthodontic appliances will not affect the condition of your teeth as long as you brush and floss as directed and follow the eating and drinking guidelines on the previous page. Use dental floss and/or a proximal brush for additional cleaning. If you have a particularly difficult time flossing, a second option is a Waterpik. When you are finished brushing and flossing, the braces should be shiny and free of plaque and other debris. Before bedtime, brush with the fluoride toothpaste we have provided. This toothpaste has more fluoride than normal toothpaste and will help to strengthen the teeth against cavities. Only a pea-sized amount is needed, and be sure not to rinse, drink, or eat for at least 30 minutes after brushing.
KEEPING YOUR TEETH CLEAN AND EATING THE RIGHT FOODS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
Foods and beverages to avoid with braces
During your first days in braces and after monthly appointments your teeth may be sore. Initially, soft foods are recommended and will make it easier to adjust to eating with your braces. Foods such as pancakes, scrambled eggs, puddings, and macaroni and cheese are all excellent options.
Certain foods may stick to or even break your appliances. To prevent such issues, we suggest the following guidelines:
It is VERY important to avoid soda, sport drinks, and juices such as orange juice and lemonade. These contain an excessive amount of sugar and are highly acidic. If not avoided, this can cause white spots on the teeth, even under your brackets where you cannot see them. These white spots are the beginning of cavities!
Do not chew gum or sticky candy (starbursts, taffy, caramel, jolly ranchers etc…)
Do not suck on hard candies and pops, as they contain a lot of sugar.
Be careful when eating hard or chewy foods such as meats, pizza crust, bagels, and chips. Taking smaller bites and chewing thoroughly will help prevent breakage.
Raw fruits and vegetables should be cut into smaller pieces before eating.
Avoid popcorn, as the kernels can easily become impacted into the gums which could lead to infection.