At Braces Omaha, we provide orthodontics with a smile! While we know that braces take work and require some small lifestyle adjustments from our patients for successful treatment, we also know all the tricks you can use to keep having fun during your orthodontic treatment. The special care required for your new appliances to stay in top shape while they correct your teeth is simple — and before you know it, you’ll be ready to show off your new, straight, healthy smile!
Eating with Braces
Eating with braces can still be fun! There are so many foods and snacks you can enjoy with braces, and just a few that need to be avoided. The things to avoid are the hard, sticky, chewy, or crunchy items that can damage your appliances. We have a handy list of foods below that will help guide you.
What Not to Eat with Braces (The NO List)
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice, beef jerky
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, whole apples, carrots
What You Can Eat with Braces (Dr. Stevens Approved)
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins (without 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 (without nuts), milkshakes, Jell-O®, soft cake
In other words, any food item that seems likely to stick to or damage your braces or appliances should stay on the shelf.
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
While it’s true that patients can experience some soreness or discomfort when they first get their braces or when they are switching aligners, it doesn’t usually last more than a couple of days. Swishing with salt water is one of the very best remedies for oral pain. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a mug of warm water and swish and gargle with it for a couple of minutes (be careful not to swallow the saltwater solution). An over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, can also help relieve the pain.
It may take some time to get used to how your mouth feels (and talks) with your new braces or appliances. After a week or two, you will be accustomed to the changes. The Braces Omaha team will provide a special wax that can be applied to the braces if you experience irritation on your lips, cheeks, and tongue while you are adjusting.
Don’t worry, loose teeth during your treatment is normal. The looseness is a good sign that everything is moving as it should. Any loose teeth will tighten back up once your treatment has been completed.
Loose Wires and Bands
It may happen that one of your wires or bands becomes loose or breaks. Please contact our practice if this happens and we will work with you to fix the problem. If you are unable to see us right away, and you’re feeling confident about trying it, you can use the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser to move a loose or poking wire back into position. If you have pain or irritation because of a broken wire, using some wax or a cotton ball soaked in water placed over the part of the braces or appliance causing the irritation can help. Be sure to bring any piece(s) of your appliance that may have broken or fallen off to the appointment, so we can make repairs.
Taking Care of Your Appliances
When you follow Dr. Stevens’ instructions for keeping your appliances in top shape, your treatment is going run smoothly and your new smile is going to show it. The success of your overall treatment requires that you become a hardworking caretaker of your appliances and braces — but as with everything in life that is worthwhile, this extra effort right now is more than worth it in the long run. The doctor and his team at Braces Omaha will show you how to take care of your appliances when you receive them. The general practice is simple: consistently wear your headgear, rubber bands, retainer, and other appliances, and avoid the foods on the NO list.
Playing Sports with Braces
When you’re on the playing field, it’s a good idea to wear a mouthguard, and even more so when you have braces. A mouthguard will help protect against damage to your mouth and your appliances. In the case of a sports emergency, check your mouth and appliance for any signs of damage. Contact us as soon as possible if you notice a loose wire or bracket. If you like, you can use wax on the damaged parts of your appliances to keep any irritation in check until you are able to come in to the practice.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
Everyone likes it best when their orthodontic treatment goes smoothly and quickly. Our goal is the same as yours: to get the best results within a sensible amount of time so you can enjoy your new smile. When you maintain excellent oral hygiene habits during your orthodontic treatment by continuing to brush and floss your teeth normally, your treatment will be more efficient, and you will also keep cavities and gum disease away. It’s a win-win!
Braces at Braces Omaha in Omaha, NE
During your adjustment appointments, the team at Braces Omaha will check in with you to make sure that your treatment plan is on track. This is also a good time to ask us any questions you may have about your orthodontic care. Dr. Stevens and his team are great at answering questions! If you have a question for us and do not have an appointment scheduled, please give us a call at our Omaha, NE, practice. We are always available and happy to help and can even guide you through solutions over the phone.