Types of Braces
Metal braces are the most widely used type of braces. They are very strong and can withstand most types of treatment. Unlike the metal braces of the past, today’s metal braces are small, more comfortable, and more attractive.
Ceramic braces or clear braces are made of composite material. They are more often chosen by adult patients because they “blend in” more easily with your teeth.
Life With Braces
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. For as long as you wear braces, you’ll need to protect your braces when you eat.
Foods to Avoid
- Ice (even if you’re careful)
- Jolly Ranchers, Snickers, and other hard candies
- Gum of any kind
- Hard chips like Doritos
- Carrots, apples, pears, etc. unless cut into small pieces
- Meat that must be chewed off the bone – such as chicken wings or ribs
- Corn on the cob
- Pizza crust, bagels, and French bread, unless broken into bite-sized pieces
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressure for three to five days. If the tenderness is severe, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they 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 be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new, corrected positions.
If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouth guard is advised for playing sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and braces immediately. If teeth are loosened or your braces are damaged, phone our office immediately for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so your teeth and gums are 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 stay current with their periodontal therapy during orthodontic treatment.
Flossing with braces takes a few minutes to master, but is essential while you are wearing braces. There are two key ways to floss with braces:
- Using a floss called Superfloss
- Using regular floss with a floss threader
Your clinician will show you how!
What If I Have An Emergency?
If you have an emergency, such as a broken bracket, loose or poking wire, or something else that is causing you discomfort, please call our office. Your comfort and well-being is our top priority, and we will work on correcting any problem you might have as quickly as possible.
Rubber Bands and Other Appliances
To successfully complete your treatment plan, you’ll need to work in partnership with our office. Your teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances prescribed as needed. We look forward to working with you to complete your orthodontic treatment plan as quickly and conveniently as possible!