Wherever you are in your journey to a straighter, healthier smile – whether you just got braces or are thinking about it – you may be wondering about what’s to come. Proper care of your braces and oral health during treatment is essential, and just a few lifestyle adjustments ensure you’ll have a smile to celebrate as quickly and easily as possible.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
Excellent oral hygiene is essential to keep your teeth and gums healthy, especially when you have braces. Brushing and flossing after every meal helps eliminate bacteria and prevent tooth decay around your braces. To access our steps for success and step-by-step directions for brushing and flossing with braces, click here.
Eating with Braces
You are free to enjoy many of your favorite foods that are “braces-safe” throughout treatment. There are some foods you’ll want to avoid or eat with care in order to protect your braces and appliances. See our list of soft foods and beverages that are recommended and the hard and sticky foods that should be avoided here.
Tenderness Caused by Braces
When you first get your braces and after adjustment appointments, your mouth may temporarily feel a bit tender and sore, or your teeth may even feel a little loose. Don’t worry, as this is perfectly normal! To relieve the discomfort, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water to swish and gargle in your mouth for a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater). If the discomfort persists, you can also try taking a pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol.
It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they adjust to the braces and appliances. We are happy to give you some wax to apply over the braces to lessen the tenderness.
Appliance Care and Use
It’s important that you use and take care of your braces and appliances so you don’t impact the length of your treatment. Remember, your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, retainers, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor. If you experience a loose band or bracket, broken archwire, or broken appliance, please review our repairs and emergency information.
Playing Sports with Braces
We have great news for all the athletes out there! You can still play your favorite sports during orthodontic treatment without worrying about your braces. Mouthguards are recommended while playing sports to protect your teeth and appliances. We can custom-fit you with a mouthguard or recommend one that is orthodontic-friendly to ensure you have the best protection – just let us know at your next appointment! In the case of a sports injury, you can review our repairs and emergency information.
Playing an Instrument with Braces
We often get asked if braces will affect your ability to play a musical instrument. While there may be an adjustment period, with a little extra practice you can make beautiful music even with braces! If you experience discomfort while playing, often times orthodontic wax can help, and we will be sure to keep you stocked up!