At Old Metairie Orthodontics, we know that creating your new smile takes work, but there are some tips and tricks you can use to keep life enjoyable during your orthodontic care. By making a few small adjustments to your daily routine, you can ensure that your new appliances will keep working hard on your new smile — and before long, your treatment will be complete!
Eating with Braces
There are a lot of foods and snacks that you can still enjoy when you have braces — and a few that are best avoided. Foods that are hard, sticky, chewy, or crunchy can damage your appliances. Here’s a handy list of food that’s on the No list, as well as some Dr. Block-approved food.
Foods to Avoid with Braces (The No List)
- Chewy foods – bagels, licorice, beef jerky
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, whole apples, carrots
Foods You Can Eat with Braces (Dr. Block Approved!)
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins (without nuts)
- Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry – soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood – tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats – ice cream (without nuts), milkshakes, Jell-O®, soft cake
In other words, any foods that seem likely to cause a problem with your appliances should be avoided. Otherwise, bon appétit!
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, or when you are switching aligners, it’s normal to feel a little bit of soreness. It’s not just a tale — swishing with salt water really does help with the pain! Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a mug of warm water, then swish and gargle for a couple of minutes. Do not swallow the saltwater solution. An over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, can also help relieve the pain.
It may take a week or two for your mouth to get used to your new braces or appliances such as aligners. We will give you special wax that can be applied to the braces so that they don’t irritate your lips, cheeks, and tongue. Some patients find it difficult to talk normally when they first receive their braces, but this issue won’t last more than a few days.
Don’t worry — loose teeth during your treatment is normal. In fact, this looseness is necessary for your teeth to move into their new, straighter positions. Any loose teeth will tighten back up once your treatment has been completed.
Loose Wires and Bands
Sometimes, wires and bands become loose or break. If this happens, please contact our office, and we will work with you to fix the problem as soon as possible. If you are unable to see us right away, you can use the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser to move a loose or poking wire back into position gently. If you are experiencing any pain or irritation because of a broken wire, wax or a cotton ball soaked in water can be placed over any part of the braces or appliance that is irritating. Be sure to bring any piece of your appliance that may have broken or fallen off to the appointment so that we can fix it for you.
Taking Care of Your Appliances
You’re an important part of the team! In fact, you are the most important player when it comes to the success of your overall treatment because you’re the caretaker of your appliances and braces! It is extremely important that you know how to take care of your appliances, such as consistently wearing your headgear, rubber bands, retainer, and other appliances. When you follow the instructions of your orthodontist and keep your appliances in top shape, your treatment is going to run much more smoothly and successfully.
Playing Sports with Braces
It’s always a good idea to wear a mouthguard when you’re on the playing field, but even more so when you have braces. A mouthguard is your insurance against damage to your mouth and your appliances while playing sports. In the case of a sports emergency, check your mouth and appliance for any sign of damage. Contact us immediately if you notice a loose wire or bracket. Remember, you can use wax on the damaged parts of your appliances to keep any irritation in check until you can come in to see us.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
No one wants to cause delays their orthodontic treatment. Our goal — and yours — is to get the best results within a reasonable amount of time so you can flash your new smile proudly. If you maintain good oral hygiene habits by continuing to brush and floss your teeth normally, your treatment will stay on track, and you will keep cavities and gum disease away as well.
Braces at Old Metairie Orthodontics
The team at Old Metairie Orthodontics will check in with you during your adjustment appointments to make sure that your treatment plan is on track. These check-ins are also a great time to ask us any questions you may have about your orthodontic care. If you have a question for us and do not have an appointment, please give us a call at our Metairie, LA, office. We are happy to answer questions and, when appropriate, guide you through solutions over the phone.