Eating with Braces
For most situations, common sense will tell you what foods to avoid when you have braces. Avoid hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should also be avoided when caring for your braces.
Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:
- Gum (sugar-free or regular)
- Sugar Daddies
- Tootsie Rolls
Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:
- Hard taco shells
- French bread crust/rolls
- Corn on the cob
- Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
- Jolly Ranchers
- Pizza crust
- Uncooked carrots (unless cut)
Minimize Sugary Foods like:
- Ice Cream
Only Once a Day:
- Sweetened tea
- Drinks with sugar
During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. To alleviate this pain, you may rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater solution, or you may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.
Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment with Dr. Hansen.
Loosening of Your Teeth
Your teeth will loosen over the course of your orthodontic treatment. Please do not be alarmed! This is normal as your teeth loosen so they can move. Once your teeth are in their correct positions, they will become firmly in place again.
Loose Wire, Bracket or Band
Call our office immediately for advice if a wire, bracket or band is loosened. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you with Dr. Hansen.
The best way to ensure a clean and healthy smile is brushing and flossing. Food particles can accumulate on teeth and in braces, and over time, turn into plaque. The bacteria that results from this accumulation can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even loss of teeth. To avoid these problems while you are in orthodontic treatment, take special care of your braces, teeth and gums to ensure you will have the best possible result.
Each patient’s orthodontic condition requires a treatment plan based on a specialized diagnosis of the case. Braces have one aim: to use gentle pressure to move teeth into proper alignment. Treatment time varies depending on age, patient compliance and the severity of the condition. Generally, treatment lasts for 24 months and is facilitated by ideal patient cooperation. In order to complete your treatment effectively and on time, please be sure to wear your rubber bands, headgear, retainers and other appliances as prescribed by Dr. Hansen.
Retainer & Expander Instructions
- Wear your retainers 24/7 until Dr. Hansen instructs you otherwise.
- When eating, please remove your retainer and be sure to put it in your case!
- Clean your retainers at least once a day. Use a clean toothbrush and warm water. Do NOT use toothpaste as it will scratch your retainer. You may also soak them in a glass of warm (not hot) water or mouth wash. Cleaing your retainers daily will keep them free of plaque, odors and prevent discoloration.
- Please keep your retainers in their case when you are not wearing them. Retainers left out can be easily lost, thrown away or chewed on by pets!
- Practice speaking, reading aloud or singing to get accustomed to talking while wearing your retainers.
- Your retainers are breakable. If you bend them, step on them or sit on them… they will break.
- If you break or lose a retainer call us immediately.
- Please DO NOT adjust your retainers yourself. Dr. Hansen will do this for you if need be.
- Be sure to bring your retainers to every appointment.
- Remove your retainers when you are swimming. Chlorine and other chemicals are not good for them.
- To avoid melting, please keep your retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards and the washing machine.
- Please do not put your retainer in your pocket or in a napkin as they can break easily.
Removable Expander Instructions
Please wear your expander 24/7, including during meals and while sleeping.
Only remove the expander when brushing your teeth. Be sure to also brush your expander with warm water and toothpaste twice a day.
Fixed Expander (RPE) Instructions
Please turn your RPE once a day (unless otherwise instructed). To turn, properly insert the RPE key into the hole. Push the key in the direction of the arrow until a new hole can be seen.
Only turn your RPE the exact number of times Dr. Hansen instructed. If you miss a day, DO NOT try and make up for it the next day.
We are pleased to offer our patients custom-fabricated mouthguards for sports activities. Unlike stock mouthguards, which fit loosely because they are designed to accommodate many possible wearers, our sports mouthguards are tailored to fit your exact dental profile. This ensures the highest attainable level of comfort and security that a mouthguard can offer.
The first step in fabricating these mouthguards is to take an impression of your teeth. We then use that impression and fabricate the mouthguard using special professional-grade materials. The perfect fit of these custom-fabricated mouthguards ensures that not only will your mouthguards fit comfortably, they will also offer the most protection and will interfere the least with speech or breathing. If you’d like a custom-made mouthguard, please call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hansen.
Athletic Mouthguards w/ Braces
We offer each patient one set of braces friendly athletic mouthguards (per request) during treatment. These mouth guards are looser than custom athletic mouth guards to protect in order to protect both the teeth and braces.