You just got braces. Now what? When you wear braces, you need to take extra special care of your teeth. That’s because braces, wires, and bands can trap food, making it hard to brush away plaque. Plaque buildup promotes cavities and gum disease. You definitely don’t want that. Here’s what you need to do:
- Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution if you’re a little sore when you first get braces. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of lukewarm water, swish, and spit. Do not swallow the solution.
- Take a pain reliever if the soreness is severe. We promise, you will only be tender for a week or two.
- Brush your teeth after every meal or snack. That may mean taking a toothbrush and toothpaste to school or work so you can brush after lunch.
- Scrub under and around your archwires and braces with an interdental toothbrush. Be gentle to avoid damaging your wires.
- Floss every night before you go to bed. We’ll show you how.
- Think about getting a WaterPik to blast away food particles and buildup from between your teeth and braces.
What to Eat (examples)
- Breads—pancakes, soft tortillas, nut-free muffins
- Dairy—pudding, soft cheeses, milk-based drinks
- Fruit—applesauce, bananas
- Grains—pasta, soft-cooked rice
- Meats/poultry—meatballs, lunch meats, soft-cooked chicken
- Seafood—tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Treats—milkshakes, ice cream, soft cake
- Vegetables—beans, steamed spinach, mashed potatoes
What Not to Eat (examples)
- Chewy or sticky foods—gum, bagels, gummies, caramels
- Crunchy snacks—ice, chips, popcorn
- Hard nibbles—nuts, candies, lollipops
- Foods you bite into—apples, carrots, corn on the cob
Life with Braces
Your life doesn’t change just because you wear braces. For instance, you can still sing in the choir, play an instrument, or participate in contact sports. However, we may need to make some simple adjustments. And, of course, we recommend that all athletes wear mouth-guards as a necessary form of protection.
Questions? Feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email.
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