At the office of Lisa King, DDS, MS, you can experience a safe, fun, and family-friendly orthodontic experience and achieve a simply sensational smile. While undergoing treatment, however, you’ll need to follow some simple guidelines to ensure your time with us is as effective and efficient as possible.
For the first few weeks after getting braces, there will be an adjustment period to having new things in your mouth. You will also need to avoid sticky, chewy, and hard foods to avoid breakages, and brush more often to prevent decalcification and cavities from forming on the teeth.
Eating with Braces
You can still enjoy most of your favorite foods, although you may need to ask yourself, “how can I eat this” and “how should I eat this” on a regular basis. Foods on the “do not eat” list can damage your wires and brackets, leading to extended treatment length and extra visits for repairs. You will have plenty of time to eat restricted foods after completing treatment.
Here are some tips on eating with braces:
- Foods to avoid include nuts, popcorn, hard candy, corn nuts, tortilla chips, and beef jerky. You should also never chew ice.
- Vegetables, fruits, steak, pizza crust, and toasted bread should all be cut into smaller bites and chewed with the back molars.
- Sticky foods and candy must be avoided all together. These include but are not limited to: caramel, taffy, Skittles, tootsie rolls, licorice, gummy bears, Snickers, Paydays, and peanut M&Ms.
- Gum can still be chewed with braces as long as it is sugar free.
It is also important to remember that foods or candy that are high in sugar should be limited to decrease the risk of decay. If you do eat sugary foods, candies, and drinks, be sure to brush your teeth right away. If you have any specific questions about food choices, please ask Dr. King or another team member.
Brushing and Flossing with Braces
Brushing and flossing takes more time and attention with braces. Because there are wires and brackets on your teeth there are more nooks and crannies were food and sugar can get stuck. When you have braces, we ask that you brush four times a day (after meals and before bedtime) and floss at least once per day to avoid white spots from forming on teeth.
Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and brush gently in a circular motion. Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Use the tip of your brush for the inner surface of your front teeth. Using either floss threaders or superfloss, thread the end between the braces and wire and carefully floss around the braces and gum areas until you have flossed around each tooth.
Dealing with Discomfort
Braces do not often hurt though you may feel a small amount of discomfort for a few days as your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. We will give you a supply of wax to cover poking wires or brackets, and suggest warm salt water rinses at home to help irritated areas heal quicker.
You may also notice that your teeth feel loose. Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position so if this happens, don't worry. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose. If your wires or bands become loose, we ask that you contact our Albuquerque office so we can check and repair if necessary. You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax over the broken wire to relieve the irritation.