Life With Braces
The information that follows is meant to help your orthodontic experience be as painless and successful as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about your braces—during or after your treatment—please feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment at any one of our treatment locations in Milwaukee, Racine, and Brookfield. We’re here to help.
Foods to Avoid
During your treatment, avoid foods that are likely to get stuck in your braces or cause damage. This includes:
- Hard foods, such as nuts, hard candy, hard granola bars, and beef jerky.
- Sticky foods, such as gum, caramels, toffees, and Tootsie Rolls.
- Crunchy foods, such as popcorn, chips, carrots, and corn chips.
- Chewy foods, such as candy bars, bagels, and taffy.
- Foods you have to bite directly into, such as corn on the cob and apples.
Eating foods like these can damage your braces and cause considerable discomfort. Instead, opt for softer foods that are easier to chew and eat, such as pastas, soft cheeses, bananas, mashed potatoes, and puddings.
When you first get your braces and every time you have them adjusted, you’re likely to feel tenderness and discomfort for three to five days. This is normal. To help relieve mild discomfort, try using a warm salt water mouthwash made with 1 tsp. of salt mixed with 8 oz. of warm water. If pain is severe, an over-the-counter pain reliever can help. It is also common for the lips, cheeks, and tongue to feel irritated for the first few weeks. Applying wax to your braces and time can both help to alleviate this irritation.
Caring for Your Braces
Caring for your braces, suresmile appliance, or Invisalign® means protecting them from damage by eating the appropriate foods, as well as wearing them and any other appliances as directed by your orthodontist.
Caring for Your Teeth
Because it can be harder to brush and floss, maintaining proper oral hygiene can feel more difficult with braces. It is, however, vital that you do so. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean while they have braces are more likely to need professional cleaning after they come off and to need more frequent orthodontic visits throughout the course of their treatment.
Loose Wires and Bands
It is not unusual for a wire or band to come loose. If it happens, there is no need to panic. Simply contact us for an appointment as soon as possible. If the wire is irritating or poking your gums, you can try using wax or wet cotton to shield your gums, or using a soft object like an eraser to move the wire out of the way. And, if any part of your braces comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to your office visit so that we can reattach it.