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Living with Braces

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Tips for Comfort and Success

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? Dr. Grabowski and his caring team have the answers you need!

It’s very important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment. Proper care and attention during your orthodontic care will result in healthier and brighter teeth to go along with your new, straight smile upon completion of your treatment.

Don’t worry; you’ll be eating your favorite foods 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 to Avoid:

  • Chewy foods – bagels, licorice, tough meats
  • 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
  • Popcorn – the kernels can get under the gums

Safe Foods:

  • Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drink
  • 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

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal for patients who have just gotten their braces put on, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! 

To reduce the discomfort, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If the discomfort is more severe, you can also try taking a pain reliever such as Motrin or whatever you would normally take for headaches.

It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know!

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal!

Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that 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 carefully and gently push the wire 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 discomfort.

Between the breakage and your appointment, review Dr. Grabowski’s additional emergency care tips for temporary relief.

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. Grabowski.

 We have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment!

When playing sports, Grabowski Orthodontics recommends that you wear a mouthguard in order to protect you and your appliance. Let Dr. Grabowski know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

In the case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliances for any damage that may have occurred. If you lose teeth or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your

You may be able to temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your
mouth with warm saltwater until your office visit.

Interested in learning more? Contact Grabowski Orthodontics today with questions or request an appointment!