LIFE WITH BRACES
First of all, congratulations! You have officially begun the path towards your healthiest, most beautiful smile. The first few days after your braces are placed will be your biggest adjustment period, but don’t worry it doesn’t take long to adjust. Here there are some useful tips to help you during this period.
Eating with braces
It is very important, especially during the first weeks that you eat soft foods until you get adjusted to your braces. You should avoid hard foods like nuts, chips, pop corn, ice blocks and sticky lollies because they have the potential to damage or break your orthodontic appliances, if you are in doubt, it is best to ask us.
The day that you have your braces on, you will experience and odd feeling of having something taking up more room in your mouth, you may find difficult talking and even swallowing. After the third day braces should become part of your life. Everyone experience different degree of discomfort and it varies from having little effect to a more significant one.
After the second or third day you may experience some soreness, if you are to experience any at all. We recommend taking a pain reliever. Take the recommended amount for your age and size.
If your braces break or become loose
Your braces are applied to your teeth with special “tooth glue”, which means that in rare circumstances, if you have followed our instructions, brackets can dislodge themselves after your braces are applied. Just give us a call should this happen and we will arrange an appointment to re-bond your bracket. It should not be large matter of worry and seldom recurs.
When you have braces for the first time your teeth are not the only ones adjusting to your new appliances, your cheeks and tongue are too. You may develop some sore spots which can be quickly and easily relieved with orthodontic wax. You will get some on the day your braces are fitted. The best of using wax is to break off a small amount and roll it between your fingers, the friction will warm and soften it to a better shape around your bracket. Dry the area of your braces that you wish to apply the wax onto the metal. When the irritating part of your wire or bracket is covered with wax, your mouth should quickly heal itself. We also recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water and swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for a couple of minutes.
If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry, this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
FOODS TO AVOID WITH BRACES
This is a list of foods that have the potential to damage your orthodontic appliances and slow down your treatment.
- Avoid foods that you would normally bite with your front teeth
Like carrots, apples, corn on the cob, rolls, wraps, meat on the bone, these foods don’t have to be completely cut out of your diet, just cut up into small pieces before being eaten so that may be chewed with your back teeth.
- Hard foods
Some foods are just too tough to safely bite into with braces. These include ice, ice blocks, popcorn, crusty bread rolls, tortilla wraps, corn chips, muesli bars, chips, biscuits, lollies, nuts, pop corn chicken, and seeded breads. Biting into this foods can bend or break your wires and brackets. Pop corn has also the potential to become lodged in your gums underneath the bracket causing severe gum irritation.
- Foods with high sugar content
This foods should be limited as a treat and you must brush immediately afterward. Avoid soft drinks and chewing gum because these foods have the potential to cause heavy plaque build up. The combination of sugar and plaque causes acid in the mouth, which can lead to white spots on the teeth and cavities.
- Sticky lollies
Minties, Fantales, Roll Ups, Licorice, Fudge and chewing gum are bad for your braces, aside from being very sugary, they are sticky and chewy enough to pull your orthodontic appliance away from your teeth. This will require an appointment to repair the appliance and slow down your treatment. It is best to avoid these and similar lollies altogether.
Don’t worry, there are lots of food you can eat while you have braces, we suggest, soft cheeses, custard, milk based drinks, soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts, soft brad, pasta, soft cooked rice, soft cooked chicken, mince, cold meats, tuna, salmon, fish, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, beans, bananas, poached fruits, ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, jelly just to give you some examples.
CARING FOR YOUR BRACES
Good oral hygiene and proper care for your braces is vital through the length of your treatment in maximising your results. Brushing and flossing your teeth can be challenging when wearing braces but is extremely important that you do both consistently.
Dr Rodriguez recommends that during your orthodontic treatment, you keep a regular schedule of dental examinations with your general dentist. After your treatment, you’ll have a beautiful smile and teeth that are easier to keep clean, healthy and attractive.
Braces, wires, bands and retainers can all trap food particles and make it difficult to brush or floss away plaque. Careful brushing and flossing preferably after every meal and snack is the best way to prevent plaque build up, tooth decay and gum disease.
Avoid chewing on things, we all have some habits but bitting your fingernails or chewing on pens or pencils can also damage your braces.
Avoid picking on your braces, picking at your braces with your fingers or finger nails is not a good idea for a few reasons. Constant picking may dislodge your brackets and also is unhealthy to expose your teeth to bacteria that is underneath your fingernails.
Retention refers to the period of time after the braces are removed and appliances called “retainers” are used. The purpose of the retainers is to minimize shifting of the teeth back toward their original positions. This shift is termed “relapse.”
As the field of orthodontics has evolved, the concept of retention has changed. In the early days of orthodontics, retainers were not used. The theory was, if a case was properly treated, nature would cooperate and maintain the result. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The teeth tended to relapse. As a result, appliances called retainers were developed to maintain the alignment. The use of retainers has lessened this relapse.
At first, it was thought that a year or two of retainers would be sufficient to prevent relapse. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The use of retainers for a year or two was found to be inadequate for certain stubborn relapse tendencies, especially the alignment of the lower front teeth. The use of long-term retention has significantly reduced the amount of relapse. We will often remark to our patients we are not overly concerned with the appearance of the teeth the day the braces come off. We care how they look next year or ten years down the road.
We at Braces 4U have the experience to match the optimum treatment plan to individual needs. We are committed to working with our patients to produce a result that they will be proud of in the years to come.