Life With Braces
Now that you have you are ready for life with braces, how do you take care of them? It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.
Eating With Braces
Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
Foods You Can Eat
- Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains - pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry - soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood - tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables - mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits - applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats - ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods - bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods - popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods - caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods - nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into - corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Life With Braces - Brushing
Dr. Blanchette and Dr. Bates recommend an electric toothbrush such as those by Sonicare or Oral B. These have an ultrasonic or rotating brush head which oscillates to help remove plaque and food particles from around your braces and gumline.
They also have a two-minute timer built and the brush will notify you every 30 seconds to let you know it is time to switch to a new quadrant. After two minutes, the brush will shut off to let you know that you are finished brushing.
Brush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness.
Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.
Brush your teeth's chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.
Flossing With Braces
Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire.
Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taut floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion.
Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you've flossed all of your teeth. If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!
Taking Care of Your Appliances
Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Blanchette and Dr. Bates.
Playing Sports With Braces
You can play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.
In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve any discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.