BRACES 101

It takes a full 24 hours for the orthodontic adhesive to harden completely, so eat soft foods and avoid tough meats, hard breads and raw vegetables your first day in braces. You can quickly add more foods to your diet when the mild soreness in your teeth subsides after the first three or four days. By avoiding extremely hard and sticky foods throughout your braces, you can minimize appliance breakage and decrease your treatment time. While it’s impossible to list all hard and sticky things that you should avoid, below are some general guidelines.

Sore Teeth

After braces are placed in the mouth it is normal for the teeth to be sore for about 2 or 3 days. Tylenol or Advil will help relieve this discomfort. Your teeth may feel loose. This is normal. Teeth must loosen first in order to move. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new- corrected- postions. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. But if you feel anything sharp and is poking you , please call our office at Mentor Office Phone Number 440-205-7500.

Foods to avoid

  • Chewy foods: tough bagels, hard rolls, pizza crust
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy, jolly ranchers, suckers
  • Sticky foods: Caramels, gum, taffy, starburst, airheads, licorice, toffee, tootsie rolls, sugar daddies, milk duds
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn kernels, ice, chips pretzels, hard tacos
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob needs to be cut off the cob, while apples, celery, and carrots need to be cut into bite size pieces
  • Chewing on hard things, such as pens, pencils or fingernails, can damage the braces   
  •  REMBER, BRACES DAMAGED OR KNOCKED OFF THE TEETH PROLONGS TREATMENT TIME!

Loose Wire or Band                                                  

Don’t be alamed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If the little pig tale of a ligature wire is protruding and irritating your lip, use a blunt instrument ( back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire, Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lip or mouth continues, place wax on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the 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.

If your elastics break frequently, a wire or band loosens, or a hook breaks off — call our office immediately at Mentor Office Phone Number 440-205-7500. Don’t wait until your next appointment. These problems need to be corrected as soon as possible!