Caring for Your Braces
Dr. Pedersen is known for creating beautiful smiles that last a lifetime! Here are some tips for taking care of your mouth that will help you achieve your best results.
The Basics, from Andrew Pedersen Orthodontics
Brushing & Cleanliness
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so that your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning.
Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.
Eating With Braces
What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and 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.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods like bagels, hard rolls, and licorice
- Crunchy foods like popcorn, chips, and ice
- Sticky foods like caramel and gum
- Hard foods like nuts and candy
- Foods you have to bite into like corn on the cob, apples, and carrots
Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can also damage your braces, in turn making treatment take longer.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 – 5 days.
Take Tylenol or whatever you normally take for headache or discomfort. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the braces.
We will supply orthodontic wax to put on the braces in irritated areas to lessen discomfort.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire sticks out and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way.
If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the problem.
To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the elastics (rubber bands) or other appliances as prescribed.
Lack of cooperation following instructions and damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time… so, please … follow instructions.
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can move. The teeth will firm up in their new — corrected — positions after treatment is completed.
If you play sports, it’s important you let us know. We will provide you with a protective mouth guard meant specifically for patients with braces for playing contact sports.