Oral Hygiene Tips
What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! If you’ve been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! 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
For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid.
Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. They can break or damage wires and brackets.
Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:
- Hard taco shells
- French bread crust/rolls
- Corn on the cob
- Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
- Jolly Ranchers
- Pizza crust
- Uncooked carrots (unless cut)
Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires.
Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:
- Gum (sugar-free or regular)
- Sugar Daddies
- Tootsie Rolls
Minimize sugary foods. They cause tooth decay and related problems.
Minimize Sugary Foods like:
- Ice Cream
Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing, and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.
Only Once a Day:
- Sweetened tea
- Drinks with sugar
When you get braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can by relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of water, and rinse your mouth vigorously.
Rinsing with Peroxyl (mouthwash that contains peroxide) kills bacteria and helps soft tissue heal quicker and look healthier.
Chewing sugarless gum the first couple of hours after orthodontic adjustments can also alleviate occasional pressure. Sugarless gum decreases the acid level in the mouth and helps to prevent tooth decay.
If the tenderness is severe, take Tylenol or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. However, before taking any medication, please consult with The Super Dentists. To avoid drug interactions, please inform him of any medications you’re currently taking.
The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!
Loosening of Teeth
This is to expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Your teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will once again become rigidly fixed in their new-corrected-positions.
Care of Appliances
To successfully complete the treatment plan, you must work together with The Super Dentists and our staff. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances can extend treatment time by as much as two months. It is important to inform the office as soon as something is broken. We will schedule you for a repair appointment as soon as one is available.
Good oral hygiene is a factor that is overlooked. It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Clean teeth move more efficiently in a healthy environment. When your mouth does not have to fight infection, more energy is focused on the movement process. 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.
If you play sports it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone The Super Dentists at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire 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 appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
To make your appointment with The Super Dentists, call (619) DENTIST (336-8478) today!