Orthodontic advancements make living with braces easier than ever. Lighter forces using advanced materials reduce discomfort and frequency of office visits. Patients are given care instructions whenever appliances are delivered including how to wear and care for them. Though treatment time can vary based on the complexity of individual needs, following these simple suggestions can reduce overall treatment time and avoid unnecessary discomfort.
Broken braces and appliances can quickly lengthen treatment time. We always encourage our patients to wear mouth guards when participating in sports. Not only will they protect you from more significant injuries such as concussions, they wil protect your braces from damage. We are happy to provide you with a specially designed mouth guard to fit around your braces.
Smart food choices during orthodontic treatment are important to avoiding breakage. Fixed appliances are designed for eventual easy, comfortable removal. We request avoiding hard, sticky, chewy foods while in active treatment.
Suggestions of foods to avoid are:
- Hard candy (such as suckers and jolly ranchers)
- Hard caramel
- Beef jerky
Examples of foods that can still be enjoyed with braces with a little extra care and prep are:
- Sliced apples
- Corn-cut off the cob
- Bagels and hard rolls-torn or cut into small bite size pieces
Special treats do not always need to avoided! Of course you should always brush your teeth after sugary snacks. Examples of fun foods that will not damage braces are:
- Ice cream (without nuts!)
- Flaky potato chips/french fries
- Hershey bars
Loose arch wires and bands
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.
Loose Wires and Bands:
Please call the office if braces become loose or broken. Timely repairs will reduce likelihood of extending treatment time. If a traumatic orthodontic emergency occurs after office hours that requires immediate attention, please call the office and leave a message on our emergency page system. If a minor breakage has occurred that is not causing discomfort, just call the office when we re-open and we will gladly reserve you a repair appointment. We have created a helpful video entitled "braces home remedies" that can be found on our emergency care page.
Occasionally patients will experience some minor discomfort during treatment. As teeth move, teeth sometimes feel tender to the touch. Patients usually feel this type of tenderness begins about 4-24 hours after adjustment appointments. This is temporary and planning soft meals for a few days is helpful. Occasionally, patients will take an over the counter pain reliever. Warm salt water rinses can alleviate soft tissue irritation and orthodontic comfort wax can be applied as needed to braces to provide temporary relief.
Great oral hygiene helps ensure the beautiful smile you deserve. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy helps reduce treatment time and improves comfort during treatment. Oral hygiene instructions and supplies are given with placement of braces and appliances. If further instructions are indicated at future appointments or a patient is showing signs that maintaining good oral hygiene is difficult, we are happy to review instructions again. Parents are always welcome and encouraged to be present during oral hygiene instructions.