Tips for Living With Braces

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Adult smiling with braces and a tooth brush

Daily routines and the foods you will eat will likely change once you get braces. The following tips for living with braces will help make the transition easier.

Eating soft foods, especially during the first few days with your new braces will reduce tenderness in the mouth that may occur. Hard raw vegetables, hard candies, sticky foods such as licorice and gum, tough meats and bagels should be avoided. It is also important to abstain from chewing on non-food items, such as pens, fingernails or other objects. Hard foods and foreign items can cause damage to your braces. Damaging braces will lead to an extended period of treatment and could be expensive to have repairs made. Damaged braces can also be painful to deal with.

You may experience mild discomfort after getting your braces, which can last up to several days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help. To create a salt water mix, add one part salt to eight parts water and mix together until salt has dissolved. This treatment can be repeated several times each day.

Your mouth and lips may become tender. As you adjust to wearing braces, waxing the braces will help reduce the irritation. Wax will be provided to you when you get your braces. Taking an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen can also help with tenderness.

Once your braces are in place, brushing and flossing become even more important. Keeping food particles and plaque from building up is vital to successful treatment. We will provide you with your very own electric toothbrush and floss, as well as a few samples of some very easy to use floss picks for flossing your braces. If you like the floss picks, you can order more from our online store!

Should a band, bracket, wire or appliance break, call our office to see if you need to be seen right away or if you can wait until your next scheduled appointment.

Wearing rubber bands or other appliances recommended by Dr. Igel is a crucial part of the treatment and not following instructions can extend your time in braces.

If you are participating in contact sports, be sure to wear the mouth guard provided to protect your braces and your teeth!

Dr. Igel and his entire team are always happy to help you and will be glad to answer your questions about your orthodontic needs!