Check braces once a week for anything loose or bent. If a bracket or band comes loose or you break a wire, please call our office so that we can arrange an appointment long enough to repair it. Try to explain what has happened. Be as specific as possible with the receptionist. If you lose your rubber bands, call us so we can mail you some more or drop by the office and pick some up.

ORAL HYGIENE OVERVIEW

Overall, people with braces should avoid hard, chewy, crunchy, and sticky foods. Avoiding foods you like may not be fun, but eating things that you’re not supposed to eat can cause broken wires or brackets. These can not only be painful, but can actually prolong treatment.

Do not eat:

  • Caramel and gooey chocolate bars
  • Very sticky or chunky peanut butter
  • Hard candies
  • Nuts
  • Chewy candy, taffy, and gummy bears
  • Popcorn
  • Gum

Use caution when eating:

  • Chewy or crusty bread such as bagels – tear into small pieces or remove the crust
  • Meat on a bone, such as spare ribs or chicken wings – remove meat off the bone, do not bite on the bone
  • Corn on the cob – cut off the cob
  • Apples and carrots – cut into small pieces
  • Fruits or vegetables with pits – do not bite on the pits

FINALLY, DON’T CHEW ON ANY HARD ITEMS SUCH AS ICE, PENS, PENCILS, OR FINGERNAILS

SORE TEETH

After braces are placed in the mouth it is normal for the teeth to be sore for about 2 or 3 days. Motrin or Advil will help relieve this discomfort. Some irritation to the cheeks and tongue is normal, but if you feel anything sharp is poking you or any sores are developing, please cover the area with dental wax and  call our office.

ELASTICS

Attached to your braces, elastics (rubber bands) exert the proper force that creates the right amount of pressure to move teeth. In order for this force to remain constant, elastics must be worn all the time and changed every day. Any time missed in wearing your elastics will only make your treatment take longer, so remember these things:

  • You are responsible for placing the elastics on your braces between appointments. Make sure to wear them as instructed. Remove them only when brushing your teeth, gums and braces after meals. Then put them back on immediately.
  • Always carry a few elastics with you, so if one breaks you can replace it right away. If your supply is low, call the office and we will mail you an additional supply of elastics.
  • If you forget to insert your elastics one day, don’t double up the next day — just follow your regular instructions.
  • Elastics become worn out. When they lose their elasticity, they don’t provide the proper pressure on your teeth and jaws. It is very important to change them as directed, even when they are not broken.