5 Top Tips for Getting the Best Out of Your Braces

You’ve come to Shoe Orthodontics for an amazing new smile through braces treatment. We will do our part, but you’ll have a few things to do as well, such as brushing and flossing regularly and eating the right foods. The goal is to get the best out of your braces! 

What can you expect the first week with braces? What are the foods you can’t eat with braces? What do you do in a braces emergency? We offer this little “survivor guide” for your first week with braces and beyond.

How Are Braces Put on My Teeth?

We recommend you visit your dentist for a thorough cleaning and examination before your orthodontic treatment. Once you have a clean bill of health, we can place your braces on your teeth.

What Should I Expect the First Week With Braces?

Wearing braces might feel a little odd the first day you get them. OK, they may feel a LOT odd. That’s perfectly normal. Your teeth might also get sore by the end of the day, but usually, you won’t feel any discomfort until the second day. 

Day 2 with braces may be uncomfortable. Your teeth are starting to move, and your jaws may not be happy about it at first. Your mouth may be pretty sore. By day 3, your mouth may start to get used to your braces. 

Days 4-7 will show a steady decline in your discomfort. You can go back to eating normal foods. That is, you can go back to eating normal foods that are OK for you to eat with braces.

How to Deal With Braces Pain

We recommend you spend the first two days with braces, eating soft foods like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, protein shakes, and ice cream.

You could have a worse menu, right? 

If your teeth are really sore, try rinsing your mouth a few times a day with warm salt water. It will soothe your gums and teeth. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Just follow the directions on the bottle. 

Your teeth may not be as sore after a couple of days, but you may develop canker sores (also called mouth ulcers) because the braces are rubbing the inside of your cheeks or your tongue. As your mouth “toughens up,” you’ll get less of these. 

Until then, use some dental wax to cover the areas of your braces that irritate these sores. Stick to softer foods, but you can have something a little more solid if you like. PB&J, anyone? 

What Foods to Avoid With Braces

There are many great foods you can eat with braces, but there are foods you must avoid. Don’t worry — you can return to eating these foods once your braces are off. Until then, say no to these foods.

  • Crunchy foods, such as tortilla chips, hard crackers, hard taco shells, popcorn, and hard pretzels.
  • Hard foods, such as hard candies, ice, nuts, seeds, raw carrots, and other raw vegetables.
  • Chewy foods, such as bagels and other chewy bread, jerky, toffee, hand-tossed pizza crust and gum.
  • Sticky foods, such as caramels, saltwater taffy, granola bars, protein bars, Tootsie rolls

These foods can break a wire. They can also loosen or even pop off a bracket. Be sure to avoid these foods. Just remember — it’s only temporary! 

Caring for Your Braces

After eating the right foods, you must get the remnants off your braces and teeth. Plaque can build up around your brackets, forming white spots if not removed. That’s why it’s so important to brush and floss your teeth regularly.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush so that you don’t damage your brackets or wires. A soft-bristled brush will also feel better on tender gums and sensitive teeth, which you might have right after getting your braces and after each checkup. An electric toothbrush may reach around your brackets more easily, but a manual toothbrush is OK. 

Brush your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. Be sure to brush around each bracket carefully. Use fluoride toothpaste, and don’t eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes afterward. This gives the fluoride time to strengthen your enamel. 

Floss your teeth at least once a day before you brush. Flossing may seem challenging with all those wires and brackets, but a floss threader will make it much easier. Floss threaders are available at most major retailers and pharmacies. They allow you to pull dental floss over or under your wires and through your teeth. 

If you can’t brush right after meals, then at least rinse your mouth with plain water. This will remove some food particles and plaque until you can brush and floss properly. It will keep plaque and food from building up around your brackets and causing tooth decay.

What to Do in a Braces Emergency

What happens if you pop off a bracket or break a wire? Today’s braces are sturdy, but accidents can still happen. 

Call us if you have a braces emergency in Hanover, PA. If the bracket is still attached, cover it with braces wax to keep it in place until you get to us. If the bracket has come out, bring it with you if you can. 

If you swallow the bracket, don’t worry! Our braces brackets are nontoxic, so it should pass through your system within 24 hours (you don’t have to bring that one to us). 

If you break a wire, cover it in braces wax if it pokes you. You can also trim the wire with nail clippers if it’s poking into your cheek or tongue. 

We will get you into the office to repair your orthodontic emergency as soon as possible. Most braces damage doesn’t require immediate repair, so it’s OK if you can’t get to us right away. You can trust us to take care of you and your braces emergency. 

Braces Treatment in Hanover, PA

Braces treatment takes work from both sides to achieve the best success. You can count on us for exceptional treatment and care, and we hope we can count on you to avoid certain foods and maintain good oral hygiene.

Are you ready to get braces? Get a free consultation with Shoe Orthodontics! We’re ready to bring you exceptional braces treatment and a beautiful new smile!

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