How to Care for Braces
When you first started wearing braces, your teeth are likely to feel sore for several days. Also, your tongue or cheeks can sometimes become temporarily irritated. Over-the-counter pain medicine usually relieves the discomfort and soreness. However, if anything sharp creates unusual pain, or if sores develop that don’t heal, please call or contact us.
Inspect your braces once a week to make sure that no parts are loose or bent. If a bracket or band became loose, or if you broke a wire, call or contact us. We will schedule an appointment to take care of your problem.
Eating Habits and Foods
Always use common sense when choosing foods during treatment. Avoid hard, chewy and sticky foods that might break your brackets or wires. It’s equally important to curb habits such as nail biting and pen or pencil chewing, because this can damage your braces.
-Eliminate Sticky foods like bubble gums, chewing gums, toffee, taffy, tootsie rolls, starburst chews,hard candies, jolly ranchers, lollipops, caramel, candies apples, spareribs etc.
-Avoid hard crunchy foods like pizza crust, nuts, ice, popcorns, chips, pretzels, corn on the cobs, bagels etc.
-Minimize sugar intake: candies, icecream, soda pop, sugar based drinks, sugar coated foods.
Elastics (rubber bands) attach to your braces – exerting gentle, constant pressure that slowly moves teeth into correct positions. You need to wear elastics all the time except when you eat and brush. You also need to change them a couple times a day. If elastics aren’t always in place, you’re treatment is likely to be prolonged. For best results, please follow these guidelines:
Orthodontic headgear is a very important part of the treatment for some patients. Headgear can help guiding the growth of the face and jaws. It also is used to move teeth into better positions or to prevent teeth from moving. Headgear attaches to your braces, creating forces that guide facial and jaw growth.
Maintaining constant use of your headgear will achieve the best results. If instructions on usage are not followed, treatment will take longer and our treatment plan may have to change.
If it becomes soiled, Dr. Carter will tell you how it should be cleaned. Your teeth may be tender for the first few days of wearing your headgear. This tenderness will disappear as you adjust to the new pressures. Let us know if you continue to be uncomfortable for more than a few days. Follow the instructions exactly, and you will complete your treatment without any changes in your treatment plan.
Before any orthodontic treatment, your primary dentist should make certain that all cavities have been treated and the health of your gums and underlying bone are free of periodontal disease. Your family dentist should also schedule cleaning and cavity checkup visits regularly during your orthodontic care. We would like to reinforce the need to keep your regular visits with your family dentist because we sincerely care about your overall oral health and your dentist can help you maintain oral health.