Modern braces are an excellent and reliable solution to most spacing and alignment issues, and can greatly improve the appearance of crooked or overcrowded teeth. We are pleased to offer high-quality materials and techniques, including clear, lingual, self-ligating, and traditional braces, to transform your smile and your oral health.
Receiving braces means you will need to change the way you eat, brush your teeth, and even play sports. Proper care depends on the style of braces you receive, and personalized instructions for your clear, lingual, self-ligating, or traditional braces will be provided during appointments. Dr. Anisa Omar and our team can help you adapt to your new braces quickly and reduce the risk of breaking any wires or brackets. Below are some of our best tips for living with braces and enjoying the process as well!
Eat Softer Foods
When you first begin the process, it is normal for your teeth to feel a bit of soreness and discomfort for the first few days/week. Chewing the normal foods that you eat on a daily may feel a little bit more difficult than usual making it important to be conscious of what you are eating. Some foods and drink that are easy to consume during this time are eggs, smoothies, puddings, applesauce, and soups.
Relieving Initial Discomfort
You may feel some initial discomfort as your mouth adjusts to the braces. To reduce soreness, we recommend mixing a teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water and swishing the solution around in your mouth. If the pain still does not subside, a warm washcloth and heating pad can help to temporarily relieve the soreness you are experiencing. For individuals that are not home or are very active, taking a non-aspirin pain reliever can help your mouth to feel normal again. Your teeth may also feel looser as they shift position, and this is perfectly normal. If you feel a loose band or wire, or if you lose a bracket, please come see our office for repairs.
Avoid Certain Foods
Living with braces means you will need to exercise caution when eating food. Please avoid any sticky, crunchy, or hard foods, as these can cause damage to your brackets and wires. Candies that are sticky or high in sugar like caramel, fudge, or gummy bears should also be avoided at all costs because they can pull brackets out of their location. Highly acidic foods should also be avoided due to their corrosive nature because they can cause the glue on your brackets to wear down, creating more issues along the way. The same goes for food you need to bite into, such as apples and corn on the cob. It is also wise to avoid having overly sweet drinks more than once per day as these will have the same effect that sugar has on your braces.
Properly Clean your Braces
It is important to be as gentle as possible when cleaning around your braces. The first and most important part of cleaning your braces is brushing them in the morning, evening, and after each meal. Using a soft bristled brush is a good decision because it helps to gently remove plaque from around each bracket while not disturbing the appliance.
Aside from brushing your teeth after each meal, the second most important thing to do is floss your teeth. This can be a more bothersome task to do with braces, but there are a few new solutions that can make this process easier. Using either a floss threader or a water flosser makes things much easier and significantly cuts down the time it takes to floss. The reason why flossing is so important is because it removes plaque from in between your teeth that simply brushing cannot remove.
Use Mouthwash and Fluoride Daily
During the beginning months of getting braces, it is common for a patient’s mouth to be more sensitive and inflamed due to the new appliances. A hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse can be very beneficial to patients because it reduces inflammation and promotes healing at a faster rate. It can also help prevent infections in the cuts that otherwise may form without hydrogen peroxide.
Using fluoride gels daily also helps to prevent tooth decay and replaces minerals in the tooth enamel. At the very end of your dental routine, you can apply the gel with your toothbrush. Leave the gel on for about one minute, spit it out, and avoid all food and liquid for 30 minutes to allow the active ingredient to work.
Regularly Check Your Wires and Brackets
Depending on the foods you eat on a regular basis, it is very easy to break a bracket or have a wire come loose. It is important to check your wires and brackets daily to prevent an injury. In the case that a wire is loose and happens to start cutting your mouth, you can use sterilized fingernail clippers to clip the affected area. If the wire is too small to trim or cut, you can try to push the wire in with either an eraser or cotton swab. During your initial appointment, your orthodontist may also give you oral wax that you can use to mend tiny poking wires.
Please wear all orthodontic appliances as directed, or else your teeth will not shift properly. If you happen to lose a piece of your appliance, call us as soon as possible to prevent any drastic changes in your orthodontic process. If you are involved in a sport, we advise you to wear a mouth guard to protect your braces and teeth from injury. Though braces may seem like a big change, proper care and thorough dental cleaning will ensure that the only big change is the appearance of your smile. The process of braces is temporary but your new smile will last forever! If you would like to know what to expect for life with braces in Chantilly, Virginia, you are welcome to call East Gate Orthodontics at 703-249-6427 and arrange a FREE consultation with our orthodontist.