Your Guide to Caring for Orthodontic Appliances
The first time you get braces or have to wear a retainer or dental appliance, you may be overwhelmed with instructions. There are rules about what to eat, soreness (especially on the days you get your braces tightened) and even extra steps in your dental care routine. While your orthodontist will have detailed instructions for you to follow, a snapshot of what to do when you get braces can help keep you get on track until you become a pro at managing your path to a more beautiful smile. Use this guide to help you care for your braces, retainers, or appliances.
Eating with Braces
One of the toughest things to remember when you get new braces is all the things you can’t eat. The first few days with braces tends to be a little tough on the teeth and gums of the mouth, making eating in general a little uncomfortable. So, for the first day or so, consider consuming only soft foods. As you feel more comfortable with your new orthodontics, you can add back in basic foods. However, you will still need to avoid sticky or chewy foods, anything with lots of seeds or kernels, and really hard, tough foods—see the examples below. Use caution if you aren’t sure about a particular food and err in favor of protecting your braces when you eat.
Food to Avoid:
- Hard or tough-to-bite foods, i.e., apples or bagels
- Chewy foods, i.e., taffy or caramels
- Corn on the cob
- Hard pretzels
- Chewing gum
- Do not chew ice
It’s not abnormal to experience soreness when you first get your braces or after a routine tightening. It’s all part of the process to achieve a straighter smile. The pain may resemble pressure or a soreness of the mouth over the course of several days. Gargling or rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help alleviate some pain. You may also find over the counter pain relievers helpful, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Be aware that your lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated as your mouth becomes accustomed to the rubbing of your braces. Your family orthodontics experts will give you a special wax designed to reduce rubbing. Use as necessary.
Care of Appliances
Your orthodontist will give you detailed instructions on caring for your specific orthodontic appliances. Caring for your orthodontics is essential to the success of your treatment. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
With or without braces, routine brushing is imperative to optimal dental health. With braces, it is a good idea to brush after every meal and rinse with mouthwash. Food and debris can easily get caught in your braces and appliances, increasing risk for infection without proper dental care.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Englewood, call Advanced Dental Care of Englewood today at (941) 548-1422 or make an appointment.
Advanced Dental Care offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Englewood. With 21 affiliated practices throughout Florida, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Advanced Dental Care of Englewood, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Advanced Dental Care of Englewood.