Life with Braces...

Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! If you’ve been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, & raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again, but you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.

 

Avoid:

Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice & gummy bears

Crunch foods: popcorn, ice, chips

Sticky foods: caramels, gum

Hard foods: nuts, candy

Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, & carrots

Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth. Your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, & rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks & tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen & become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new--- corrected----positions.

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth & jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

 

Brushing

 

It’s more important than ever to brush & floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth & gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

 

Retainer & Expander Instructions

  • Wear your removable retainer at least 9 hours per day. The easiest & safest time to wear it would be at night (or sleep). In some cases, you may need to wear it a few hours more. We will advise you if that will be necessary. Plan to wear it indefinitely at night. The longer it is worn, the straighter your teeth will stay. If you are not able to wear it during the night, or you are always taking it out in your sleep, you will need to wear it during the day. Keep in mind though that wearing it during the day increases the chance you will misplace or lose it!
  • The new retainer may make your teeth a little sore a first. This is normal. Expect the soreness to be gone in a few days. If the soreness does last for more than a few days, or is rubbing your gums & causing a sore spot, call our office right away so that we may evaluate the problem & adjust the retainer as necessary.
  • Clean your retainer daily by brushing it gently with a toothbrush & toothpaste. Brushing the retainer removes plaque & eliminates odors. Once or twice a week, you may soak the retainer in denture-cleansing tablet to help clean & sterilize your retainer. This should not take the place of brushing though. Never soak or wash the retainer in warm or hot water. Never place it near any heat, i.e. in hot car, near a stove, etc. The plastic can warp due to the heat, & can need replacing.
  • If you have a dog in the house BEWARE ! They love to chew them up. Do not leave your retainer out where the dog may get it. We regularly replace retainers because of man’s best friend.

Removable Expander Instructions

  • Wear your expander all the time. That means all day, during meals, & while sleeping. Remove your expander only to brush your teeth. Brush your expander at least twice a day with a toothbrush & toothpaste.

Fixed Expander Instructions

  • Turn you expansion screws as instructed. Insert the key into the hole & turn toward the arrow. If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, stop turning the expander.
  • If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouth guard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth & the appliances immediately.
  • If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes & is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) & carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the arch wire, Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check & repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it & bring it with you to the office.

Emergency Care

As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking out that you can’t repair yourself. It’s important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help, when you phone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place.

Dr. M. Azizi
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Yorba Linda, California (714) 692-4004

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