Life with Braces
Getting braces can be an adjustment. At Forster Orthodontics, we understand that and work hard to ensure you have the tips and tricks necessary to maintain your quality of life and busy schedule!
For the first three to five days after you get your braces on, you may experience some general soreness in your mouth and your teeth might feel tender when biting down. This is normal and wont last forever! Rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water mouthwash can relieve this soreness. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness continues, take an over the counter pain reliever in the recommended dosage every 4-6 hours. Your 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. Using wax on the braces can lessen this feeling and we’ll show you how!
Eating with Braces
If you're experiencing soreness, it's best to stick with soft foods for the first few days after getting your braces on. Moving your teeth frequently by chewing will reduce the degree of pain and its duration. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before you know it, you’ll be able to bite into corn-on-the-cob again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
Here are some of our favorite foods to enjoy during your first week of braces:
- Mashed Potatoes etc!
If your teeth begin to feel a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.
LOOSE WIRES AND BANDS
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.
You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire carefully and gently back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.
Caring for your Braces
You know how important it is to brush and floss properly when you're wearing braces — but what's the best way to do that? Let's start with the basic brushing tools: Either a soft-bristle brush or a bi-level brush (one that has shorter bristles in the middle and longer bristles at the edges) can be effective. Used carefully, an electric toothbrush can work just as well. But be sure the electric brush is set to a moderate power level, and don't let its vibrations cause the back of the brush to hit the braces!
You should brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least two times per day (preferably after meals), for at least two minutes each time. Remember to brush all of the tooth surfaces: the outside, the inside, and the chewing surfaces as well. Be especially careful to clean the areas between wires and teeth, and between brackets and gums — that's where food particles can easily become trapped.
Here's a suggested brushing technique: Beginning at the outside surfaces, place the tips of the bristles flat against your teeth, and use small circular motions to gently polish them clean. For areas between braces and gums, tilt the brush toward the gum line (down for the bottom teeth, up for the top) while keeping up the circular motions. Next, move on to the chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth, using a firm back-and-forth motion. Finally, finish up by carefully brushing the inside surfaces of the teeth the same way you did the outside surfaces.
If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouth guard is advised for playing contact sports. We can provide mouth guards that work with your braces. For those who are not yet in braces, there are many inexpensive mouth guards on the market that protect your smile. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for a team member to contact you. In case of bleeding or trauma to the lip or face, stay calm, place ice to control bleeding/swelling area, and seek help from us or the Emergency Department of the hospital.
If you have suffered the loss of a tooth from the mouth, gently clean it off, keep it moist in your mouth. If possible, replace it in the socket or hold it in your mouth, and bring it to your caregiver. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.