Everything You Need To Know About Caring For Your Braces
With a bit of help from you, your orthodontic treatment can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. However, without your help, the treatment time could be extended, your results may not be as perfect as we want them to be, and you could even experience decay and gum disease from improper care. Let’s work together to ensure that these things don’t happen and that you finish orthodontic treatment with a beautiful, healthy smile!
Be Careful With Your Braces
Please take a moment to review the recommended food list below for a list of foods that are known to cause problems with braces and some safe alternatives to help you or your child enjoy mealtime.
Foods To Avoid
- Ice – It’s so cold it hurts your mouth anyway, so let’s just avoid it
- Foreign objects – pens, pencils, fingernails, straws, etc.
- Hard, sticky, chewy candy – Jolly Ranchers, Blow Pops, Jawbreakers, Starburst, Now-N-Later, Tootsie Roll, taffy, Skittles, etc.
- Hard and chewy snacks – Power Bars, Rice Krispy treats, pretzels, Fritos, tortilla chips, nuts, etc.
- Tough bread – thick pizza crust, bagels, hard rolls, etc.
- Corn-on-the-Cob – It’s best to cut the corn off the cob to eat
- Popcorn – The hulls can get under your braces and cause irritation
- Sugary drinks – Can weaken enamel and cause cavities
- Carbonated soft drinks – Contains phosphoric acid and can cause enamel staining and cavities
Foods To Enjoy
- Apples, carrots, and celery are good for you but are best to be cut into bite-sized pieces
- Sugar-free gum – We know most of our patients continue to chew gum with braces, so the sugar-free variety is best
- Soft sweets – Chocolate, Three Musketeers, ice cream, etc.
- Soft snacks – yogurt, applesauce, cheese, etc.
- Remember – Use your common sense when deciding which foods you can eat and those to be avoided!
Oral Hygiene With Braces
Proper brushing and flossing will keep your teeth and gums healthy and keep your breath smelling fresh. Remember to keep regular appointments with your family dentist. It would help if you had a checkup and cleaning every six months, but we may recommend additional checkups or cleanings if needed. It will be important to brush your teeth twice a day and remember to brush your gums and angle your toothbrush in such a way to remove plaque and debris both above and below the brackets, especially between the brackets and your gums.
Call us if something seems loose or broken. We’re always here to make sure your treatment goes quickly and smoothly. If you let a broken bracket sit for a couple of days or weeks, the tooth could move, adding a substantial amount of extra time to your treatment. We all want this process to go as quickly as possible, so don’t hesitate to give us a call if something seems broken or even a little off. The best way to avoid unnecessary appointments is to call us as soon as you are aware that something is wrong.