Life with Braces
Tooth, Cheek and Lip Soreness from Braces
It is normal for the first 2-4 days after having braces placed on the teeth for the teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue to be tender or sore. We advise an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen (Motrin) or Tylenol for this period. The tooth discomfort is caused from the pressure applied to the teeth from the braces. The soreness of the soft tissues of the mouth (lips, cheek, and tongue) is caused from the tissues being irritated from the braces. This will subside in a short period of time as these tissues get used to the new braces.
It is normal for the teeth to feel slightly mobile or loose during orthodontic treatment. This is part of the process of moving the teeth into their correct position. Though some tooth mobility is normal, please discuss with Dr. Anderson any concerns you have if your teeth become very loose or you experience sudden changes to the condition of your teeth during treatment.
Broken Braces or Sharp Wires
The brackets on your teeth can break away from you tooth if the brace is subjected to a high enough force during eating or due to trauma. If this does happen, call our office the next business day to let us know. A broken bracket is typically not an emergency, however, please let our office know as soon as reasonably possible so that we can make plans to get it repaired.
A wire that is either long or has come out of a brace may be tended to at home by either placing the wire back into position or bent into a more comfortable position with the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser. We will supply each patient with wax that can also be placed over a broken brace or sharp wire for comfort.
Care of Your Braces
Multiple broken braces, wires and loose bands will likely increase the time you spend in braces. Sometimes broken braces are unavoidable and if it is only a rare occurrence treatment time should not be affected. Follow the recommended eating with braces guidelines carefully to minimize appliance breakage and to keep your treatment on track!
Eating with Braces
There are many foods and snacks that you can enjoy while wearing braces. Most foods that are served at your family meals are safe for braces and most treats and snacks are brace friendly. Follow these suggestions to minimize breakage of your braces and wires and keep your treatment running smoothly!Foods to Avoid
- Sticky chewy foods - caramel, taffy, fruit roll-ups, etc.
- Hard foods /snacks - nuts, ice, unpopped popcorn kernels, hard granola bars, bagels, etc.
Foods to Eat with Care
Foods that are Safe to Eat
- Apples (cut up is OK)
- Carrots (cut up or cooked is OK)
- Corn on the cob- cut off the cob
- Pop and soft sweets (candy) - eat in moderation due to their high sugar content
- Popcorn - avoid the unpopped kernels
- Meats, fish, poultry, and seafood
- Pasta and Breads
- Pizza (beware of hard crust!)
- Fruits (remember to cut up apples)
- Treats - ice cream, cake, and chocolate (in moderation)
Participating in Athletics
Many of our patients participate in competitive athletics while wearing braces. In fact it is not uncommon to see professional athletes with braces!! It is very important to wear a mouthguard while practicing and playing games to protect your braces and most importantly YOU! Dr. Anderson will provide you with a mouthguard during your treatment - just let him or the staff know you need one at one of your appointments.