If you have new braces, it is important to know basic guidelines for their care so that you may successfully complete your treatment plan.
Initially, you may experience soreness of the mouth and teeth for several days after getting your braces. Rinsing your mouth with cold water may help alleviate the tenderness. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever for more severe pain. To help with lip, tongue, or cheek sensitivity caused by the initial irritation, try using dental wax provided by your orthodontist.
For the first few days after getting your braces, you will want to stick to soft foods. While you will soon be able to return to eating normally, there are some foods you should try to avoid completely:
• Sticky or hard candies
• Gum of any kind
• Hard chips
• Hard fruits and vegetables such as apples or carrots, unless cut into small bites
• Popcorn kernels
• Meat that must be eaten directly off the bone
• Corn on the cob
• French bread, bagels, and other hard breads unless broken into small bites
Avoid chewing on fingernails, pens, or pencils as this will damage braces.
If you play contact sports, it is recommended you wear a protective mouth guard. If you are involved in an accident to your face, check your mouth and braces immediately. Contact your orthodontist immediately if your braces are damaged or teeth are loosened.
It is vitally important to brush and regularly floss so you will maintain healthy teeth and gums after orthodontic treatment. Make sure you are brushing all surfaces of the teeth and gum line, ensuring the teeth and brackets are completely free of any food or debris. When flossing, you can either use floss designed specifically for use with braces or regular floss with a floss threader.
You should consistently wear the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed in order for your teeth and jaws to move toward their corrected positions. If you experience a poking or loose wire, broken bracket, or any other unusual discomfort, contact Sherman Oaks orthodontist Dr. Fotovat for further assistance.