R. Scott Smith Orthodontics

Springfield:
275 Bicentennial Highway
Springfield, MA 01118
413-783-1111

Enfield:
115 Elm Street
Enfield, CT 06082
860-741-0753

South Hadley:
25 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
413-536-0847

Simsbury:
381 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070
860-741-0753

Life with Braces

Life with Braces

Now that you have your 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 to avoid with braces:

  • Hard Food:
    • Ice Cubes/Crushed Ice
    • Hard Candies
    • Pretzels
    • Popcorn
    • Peanuts/Nuts
    • Doritos/Fritos
    • Nachos/Hard Tacos
    • Granola Bars
    • Lollipops
  • Sticky Food:
    • Caramels
    • Taffy/Licorice
    • Chewy Candy Bars
    • Gummi Bears
    • Starburst/Skittles
    • Sugar Daddies/Babies
    • Jelly Beans
    • Tootsie Rolls
    • Fruit Rollups/Dried Fruit
  • Foods that should be cut up into bite size pieces:
    • Pizza Crusts
    • Bagels/Crusty Breads
    • Fruit
    • Raw Vegetables
    • Sandwich/Grinders
    • Whole Pickles
    • Chicken - cut meat from the bone
    • Peaches - cut fruit from pit
    • Meat - cut meat from bone
    • Fresh Corn - cut from the cob
  • Examples of High Sugar Foods:
    These foods will promote tooth decay
    Please be sure to brush well after eating.
    • Candy
    • Bananas
    • Marshmallow
    • Soda
    • Cake
    • Cookies
    • Ice Cream
    • Donuts

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o 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 w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Habits to Avoid:

  • Do not bite on pens, pencils, fingernails, or any foreign objects.

Soreness caused from braces and appliances

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 relieve the pain, we recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol.

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! You may also try to use a piece of sugarless gum that you have softened in your mouth. Tuck over the area that is sore.

Loose Teeth

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.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us so that we can check and repair your appliance.

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 sugarless gum over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

Take 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 your doctor.

Click here to read more about the proper care of your appliances

Brushing Your Teeth with Braces

When you have braces it's very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.

Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match - we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard while playing all contact sports such as basketball, football, hockey/field hockey, soccer, karate, softball/baseball, etc. in order to protect your teeth.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose 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 mouth with warm salt water.

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