Life with Braces

Eating with Braces

mom and 2 daughtersFor the first few days after your braces are placed, we recommend you only eat soft foods. Don’t worry! Before long, you’ll be able to eat your favorite foods again. But for now, you’ll need to eat softer foods to prevent damaging your braces which could lead to a longer overall treatment time.

Foods to Avoid

Common sense will tell you what foods to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets, and sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing, and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided. For a more extensive list, please see our Foods to Avoid page.

Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing each day, especially during orthodontic treatment, is very important. Braces can make it harder for you to brush and floss properly, but you should still brush and floss daily so your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout treatment! If you cannot keep your teeth clean during treatment, you may need to visit your dentist more frequently for cleanings. Adults with a history of periodontal disease should visit their periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

Playing Instruments and Sports

If you play an instrument or sport, don’t worry. Your braces won’t keep you from doing so. We recommend you wear a mouthguard when participating in any sporting activity. It may take some time for you to get used to playing your instrument while wearing braces, but practice makes perfect! If you need extra wax or lip guards, just ask us.

Loose Wires, Bands, or Brackets

If a wire or band comes loose, don’t be alarmed. This happens sometimes. If a protruding wire is causing discomfort, use the eraser end of a pencil or the back of a spoon to carefully push it under the archwire. Placing wet cotton or wax on a wire can also alleviate discomfort. Contact our office as soon as possible so we can schedule a repair appointment.

If a piece of your appliance comes off, save it and bring it to the office. If your brackets come loose frequently during treatment, you may need to pay close attention to your diet or the activities you participate in; particularly those you are engaging in without a proper mouthguard.

General Soreness

After your braces are placed, overall soreness and teeth sensitivity is to be expected for at least 3-5 days. Vigorous salt-water rinses (dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water) can alleviate pain. If the soreness is severe, you may take Advil, Ibuprofen, or whatever you normally take for a headache. You may notice that your cheeks, lips and tongue are irritated. This is normal and can last for one to two weeks. Applying wax to your braces can help. We’ll be glad to show you how to apply the wax!

Loosening of Teeth

You may notice your teeth are becoming loose. Don’t panic! This is common. In order for teeth to move, they must first loosen. Your teeth will soon become fixed in their new positions.

Quad City Orthodontics

  • Rock Island Location - 2850 24th St., Rock Island, IL 61201 Phone: 309-786-7782 Fax: 309-786-5829
  • Bettendorf Location - 3201 Ridge Pt., Bettendorf, IA 52722 Phone: 563-332-5671

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