Life With Braces
Your braces will be attached quickly and easily to your teeth. It is a good idea to wait several hours after getting braces before eating solid food. You may find it easier to eat soft foods for the first couple of days while you are becoming accustomed to eating with your new braces.
Your braces may feel a little awkward at first and your teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal and will go away soon. It may feel as though your braces are “sticking out,” but this sensation will also soon pass. Small pieces of orthodontic wax may be used if the brackets irritate your cheeks. Our office always has extra wax in case you run out so call us if you need more.
Many patients will experience some discomfort at first, but the soreness will go away within the first few days or even hours of getting braces. It is impossible to predict exactly when the tenderness will end. Some patients choose to take over the counter pain relievers the first day of treatment to lessen the discomfort. To ensure the best result, take the medications before your appointment.
Braces are attached to your teeth with a strong adhesive, but may become loose as a result of eating certain foods. It is also possible that wires could become bent or broken without proper care. Since it is best to achieve orthodontic treatment goals with as few disruptions as possible, a well-balanced diet is important to ensure a healthy environment for your teeth.
Patients should avoid foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. They should also avoid any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals.
The foods below are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances and are examples of what NOT to eat:
- beef jerky
- hard or sticky candy
- corn chips
- crisp taco shells
- whole apples
Brushing and Flossing with Braces
The end product of braces – a beautiful, healthy smile for life – is well worth the time and discipline! Proper brushing after meals and before bed will help your teeth and gums stay healthy. Flossing with braces takes a few minutes to master, but the effort is well worth it. If proper brushing techniques are not executed, you can be left with discoloring on your teeth. Our staff will review proper brushing and flossing techniques, and other important home care information, on the day you get your braces. Our staff is always available to address questions and concerns, so please don’t hesitate to ask!
Home Photo Tutorial
Occasionally you may have a question or concern about your braces or aligners that can be addressed without coming into the office. The doctor may ask you to take photos at home and text them to the office. He can review the photos and decide if an office visit is required. This has been especially helpful during the pandemic! See the example photos below. Patients wearing clear aligners should take 2 sets of photos, one with the aligners in and one with the aligners out.
Instructions for taking close-up photos using your cell phone (requires 2 people):
- Bite down on your back teeth (this gives us the most accurate view of your bite)
- Smile big, using your fingers or spoons to retract your cheeks away from the teeth
- Take the following photos: front/center, left side and right side
- Take one picture of the upper teeth with mouth open
- Take one picture of the lower teeth with mouth open
- Text the photos individually to the main office number 847-358-9000
- Please include your name and a description of the concern/issue you are having
- We will acknowledge receipt of the photos and advise you after the doctor reviews them
New Patient Booklet