Life With Braces
We want you to be informed about you or your child's orthodontic and dental needs. That is why we offer a completely complimentary consultation so we can address all of your orthodontic concerns. During your orthodontic treatment, there's a few things you should know. Read below on how to take care of your orthodontic appliances during treatment.
Eating With Braces
It’s not going to be easy at first, and in the beginning foods you can eat will be limited. You’ll want to stick to foods that are soft, fluffy and easily mashed up. Pancakes, oatmeal, bananas, soups, cooked vegetables, applesauce, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and soft ice cream – just to suggest a few. Stay away from foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky or tough.
There are a few tricks around some problem foods. You can cook your vegetables to make them softer, cut your corn off the cob, and slice apples and sandwiches into small, bite sized pieces.
If you’re in doubt about a particular food, ask the doctor.
Foods to Avoid
For situations requiring immediate medical attention, you should contact your doctor or local emergency medical services.
For orthodontic-related emergencies, our office is here to help. Most emergency situations can be temporarily taken care of at home! Usually loose brackets and wires that are causing some discomfort or poking can be covered in wax or pushed back into place. Loose and poking wires can be manipulated using tweezers or a pencil eraser, or can be clipped with nail clippers. It’s still important to call the office and set up an appointment to have the issue corrected.
In the event of a more severe issue (an appliance breaks, a wire slips loose, or is preventing the mouth from opening or closing), call our office to schedule an appointment and have the problem taken care of right away.
Keep in mind that there may be some discomfort for a few weeks after getting your braces on and for several days after an adjustment. In these situations, rinsing with salt water or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may alleviate the pain.
Bite Bumps - Speed-up Treatment
When upper and lower braces are placed, in many instances, the top teeth bite down and contact the lower braces. This may cause the upper teeth to ‘bite off’ the lower braces, and as a result, will cause many extra visits to the office. To prevent this and allow placement of upper and lower braces at the same time, we use small temporary build-ups called “Bite Turbos” on the back side of the front teeth, or “Bite Props” on the biting surface of the rear teeth.
Because your bite is being propped open, your back teeth may not fully touch. This is normal and expected. Start with softer foods that are easier to chew and work your way up to more solid foods.
If the Bite Bumps come off, please call to schedule a repair.
Although Bite Bumps may be slightly annoying at first, the treatment time saved is well worth it in the end.
What are they?
When Dr. Poidmore uses the word ‘Elastics’, he is referring to tiny rubber bands. These tiny rubber bands apply pressures to the teeth in certain directions that braces alone can not. These elastics are connected to tiny hooks on your braces or Invisalign trays. The elastics can be taken in and out, and Dr. Poidmore will instruct you on how often to wear them, and what configuration they should be worn in. Elastics should only be worn as prescribed by an orthodontist.
What if your elastics break?
If your elastics break, simply replace them with a new one. If you run out of elastics, call our office and we will gladly ship you a new pack. Although it is not common for elastics to break, sometimes opening too wide or too much stretch of the elastic will cause it to tear. If your elastics repeatedly break, contact our office, and we will fit you to a more appropriate elastic size.
Using a soft bristled toothbrush, begin by brushing the outside of your teeth and braces, holding the brush tilted at a 45 degree angle. Brush along the top and bottom of the braces using light to moderate pressure, making sure you cover every surface very carefully. Don’t forget to brush the teeth all the way in the back and behind your back molars! It’s a good practice to brush for three minutes at least twice a day. Using a timer or singing along to a song will help you keep track of your time.
We recommend brushing your retainers after you take them out. Retainers can be cleaned with your toothpaste (non-whitening pastes that do not contain harsh granules), simple hand soap, or even denture cleaners for a good, thorough clean! Do not allow your retainers to sit in hot water or put in the dishwasher as this will deform your retainers. Always keep your retainers in a case when not in your mouth. Never keep them in a napkin! (This is the most common reason retainers are accidentally thrown away.) If you lose or break a retainer, please contact the office as soon as possible. A lapse in retainer wear is an opportunity for teeth to shift out of place.