It is common to experience some soreness in your mouth after you initially have your braces fitted. You should expect your teeth to feel somewhat tender for up to five days. During this time, it’s best to restrict your diet to soft foods that will not hurt your teeth while chewing. If you experience any sore spots or irritated gums, try rinsing your mouth using a warm salt-water mouthwash. If the soreness is severe, or you have a hard time adapting, a minor pain killer can help alleviate these symptoms.
You may also notice that your cheeks, lips, and tongue experience some irritation for up to two weeks after being fitted with your braces. This is because your mouth is learning a new posture. Wax can help to alleviate this discomfort. We will be happy to show you how to apply wax on your braces.
Relief wax can help to alleviate some of the discomfort you may feel while wearing braces by providing a buffer between your lip or cheek and your braces. To use the wax, pinch off a small piece and then roll it into a small ball. Next, flatten the ball of wax and position it over the area of your braces or appliance that is causing the discomfort. If you continue to experience discomfort, please do not hesitate to contact our office. An adjustment may be necessary. Do not be concerned if you accidentally swallow a piece of wax. It is completely harmless.
If your orthodontic appliances are loose or still attached to the wire, wax can be placed on the part that is causing the issue.
Brackets serve as the handles to hold the wires in your braces in place. An adhesive is usually used to bond the brackets to your teeth. Generally, brackets are sturdy, stable, and tough. Even so, eating crunchy, sticky, or hard foods can loosen the brackets. Brackets can also become loose if you take a blow to the mouth. Wearing a mouth guard during any form of physical activity can help to reduce the chance of your brackets becoming loose.
If you experience a problem with a loose bracket and it can be removed easily, it should be placed in an enveloped and brought with you to your next appointment at our office. If the band or bracket is still attached, try to keep it in place. Wax can be used to alleviate any discomfort you may experience.
The arch wire of your braces is designed to fit horizontally in each bracket. This wire is secured to each one of your brackets. In some cases, simply chewing or biting can cause the wire to work its way out of the bracket, resulting in irritation. If you have any loose wires, you may use a pair of tweezers to gently push the wire back into place. Dental floss can also be used to tie the wire into position. Wires that are poking can also be pushed back into place using a pencil eraser. Contact our office to schedule an appointment to address these concerns.
Food Caught Between your Teeth
When wearing braces, it is sometimes a fact of life that you may get food caught between your teeth or behind your braces. This can not only be embarrassing but also uncomfortable. Dental floss can remedy this situation. Tie a small knot in the middle of a piece of floss. This should help you to remove the food. If floss is not available, a regular tooth pick can also help. Remember to be gentle so as not to damage your braces or injure your gums.
Loose Bracket Ligature
The ligature is a small rubber band that stretches around the bracket. The purpose of the ligature is to hold the wire and bracket together to ensure there is enough force to move your teeth into the correct position. If the ligature falls off, you may try putting it back into place using tweezer. Keep in mind that if you have one ligature pop out of place, others may follow. If so, you should contact our office for a follow-up visit and adjustment.
Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces
Although braces are quite stable and sturdy, they do need to be treated with care. This requires eating foods that are easy on the wires and brackets that form your braces. As a general rule, you should avoid any foods that are chewy, hard, or sticky. Soft foods will be easier on your braces. Below is a list of foods that should be avoided while wearing braces:
- Sticky and hard candy
- Hard taco shells
- Corn chips
- Sticky or hard chocolate
- Hard crackers or cookies
The following foods do not need to be avoided, but you should not bite into them using your front teeth. Instead, break them up or cut them prior to eating:
- Raw vegetables
- Hard rolls
- Thin crust pizza
- Corn on the cob
- Sub sandwiches