Home care instructions for your braces. Yay!
Congratulations on your new braces! You may find that over the next few days your teeth and gums may be sore, you’ll produce more saliva than usual, some patients develop sores on their lips and cheeks, and it's harder to clean your teeth. Doesn't having braces sound like so much fun? Here are a few helpful hints to make the transition smoother.
1. Avoid any Sticky or hard foods, and drinks with high sugar content (i.e. soda):
Sticky foods to avoid:
Hard foods to avoid:
Pizza crust / bagels
Corn on the cob
Drinks to avoid:
Gatorade and Powerade (more acidic than soda)
You may not be willing to give up all these drinks, but please limit them to special occasions.
2. Proper oral hygiene is very important in order to prevent cavities and decalcification.
We love teeth! We want them to look amazingly straight and healthy when your treatment is finished. If teeth are not cared for properly, they may develop white scars on the surface that cannot be removed (decalcification). Dr. Swapp would probably cry if you finished orthodontic treatment, and never learned to properly care for your teeth. We recommend using a Sonicare toothbrush to clean around your braces or Invisalign attachments. Detailed instructions for cleaning your clear and metal braces can be found at the end of this page. If you ever feel like you are unable to clean your teeth properly, call to schedule an appointment for 'Brushing Bootcamp,' which is a hardcore brushing instruction session. This service is available to patients, and members of their family at no charge.
3. There may be times during your treatment that brackets come loose and/or arch wires begin to poke.
DO NOT PANIC! Contact our office so we can help. Use wax to cover the irritation. The first wire can often be trimmed using fingernail clippers. The most important thing is to make you feel comfortable until we can repair the damaged bracket or poking wire. It is ok if you need to remove the wire or bracket until we see you. Very rarely is the length of treatment affected.
4. Your teeth and gums may be sore after each visit, and sores may develop on your lips and cheeks.
For pain management, use the dose of medication you would normally use for pain. This usually corresponds with the recommendations on the package label. Chewing sugarless gum can sometimes help relieve the tension in your teeth.
Wax can be used around braces and wires that are causing irritation. Before applying wax, try to dry the area as much as possible. It will help the wax stick better to the braces.
Brushing metal or clear braces with a Sonicare toothbrush.
Brushing with a Sonicare toothbrush. It is different than a regular tooth brush, because it does not require you to brush “back and forth”. The vibration of the bristles does the “brushing” for you. It may take a week or more to get used to the vibrations of the Sonicare.
Step 1: Start at the furthest back tooth of your mouth, at the junction of your tooth and gums. It does not matter which side. Turn on the Sonicare (the lower power setting may help in the beginning). Slowly glide the brush along your gums until you reach the furthest back tooth on the opposite side of your mouth.
Step 2: Start again at the furthest back tooth near the gums, but angle the bristles toward the braces. Focus on one tooth at a time by holding the brush head on the desired tooth for 3 seconds, followed by pushing the bristles over the “brace,” but under the wire. This will help push the food out from under the wire. Repeat this step for each tooth, spending a few seconds on each.
Step 3: Start again at the furthest back tooth. Angle the bristles toward the braces from the side opposite the gums. Focus on one tooth at a time by holding the brush head on the desired tooth for 3 seconds, followed by pushing the bristles over the “brace,” but under the wire. Repeat this step for each tooth, spending a few seconds on each one.
After you have cleaned around your braces, continue brushing the other surfaces of your teeth as normal. Instead of brushing back and forth like with a normal tooth brush, allow the Sonicare to glide along your teeth without pushing too hard. Inspect your teeth closely after you brush to ensure all the food and plaque is completely removed.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call us anytime. You may also explore this website for additional tips and tricks.