Brushing and Flossing

When wearing braces, it is even more important that you brush and floss regularly. This will help keep your teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment. If you do not keep your teeth clean during orthodontic treatment, you may require more frequent visits to your dentist for a professional teeth cleaning. For an adult with a history of gum disease, it would be wise to see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment as well.

Eating with Braces

There are a few things that you shouldn’t eat while in braces. For the first few days, eat soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. You will need to protect your orthodontic appliances for as long as you wear them. Some foods to avoid include:

• Chewy foods like bagels, licorice, and hard rolls
• Crunchy foods like ice and popcorn
• Sticky foods like gum and caramel
• Hard foods like candy and nuts
• Foods that you have to bite into like apples, carrots, and corn on the cob

Do not chew on hard things like pens, pencils, or fingernails, as they can damage your braces. If braces become damaged, your orthodontic treatment will take longer.

General Soreness

When your braces are first put on, you may have soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender when biting for three to five days. To ease discomfort, take Tylenol or your regular over-the-counter painkiller. Your lips, tongue, and cheeks may become irritated for one to two weeks as they become accustomed to the braces. Dr. Johnson will provide wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen your discomfort.

Loosening of Teeth

This is normal during orthodontic treatment, so don’t worry! Your teeth must loosen before they can move. The teeth will firm back up in their new, ideal positions after treatment is complete.

Loose Wire or Band

Occasionally, a wire or band may become loose. Don’t be alarmed. If one of your wires sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (like the eraser end of a pencil) to carefully and gently push the wire back. Just get it out of the way. If you continue to have irritation in the lips or mouth, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce discomfort. Call our office as soon as you can for an appointment so our Dr. Johnson can check and repair the problem.

Rubber Band Wear

In order to have a successful orthodontic experience, the patient must work together with our orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected, ideal positions if the patient wears the rubber bands and/or other appliances consistently, as prescribed. Lack of cooperation during orthodontic treatment and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time. So please follow instructions.

Athletics

It is important that you let us know if you play sports. Dr. Johnson can provide a protective mouth guard for use during contact sports.