Life with Braces
Though it is often associated with childhood, orthodontic treatment can be used to correct misaligned teeth at nearly all ages and stages of life. Our goal is to help our patients achieve the smiles they have always dreamed of in the most comfortable, fast, and effective way possible. Our friendly and competent staff is dedicated to patient comfort and quality care. We provide the best and latest in orthodontic technology and treatment options. We provide gentle and effective care to both children and adults in the New York area.
It will take time at first, and in the beginning you may want to be careful with what you eat. You’ll want to stick to foods that are soft, fluffy, and easily mashed up. Pancakes, oatmeal, bananas, egg, soups, yogurt, cooked vegetables, applesauce, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and soft ice cream – just to suggest a few. Stay away from foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky, or tough.
Sticky – caramel, tootsie rolls, toffee, swedish fish
Hard – apples, carrots and other raw vegetables
Crunchy – popcorn, chips
Tough – bagels, corn on the cob, sandwiches, steak, ribs
There are a few tricks around some problem foods. You can cook your vegetables to make them softer, cut your corn off the cob, and slice apples and sandwiches into small, bite sized pieces.
If you’re in doubt about a particular food, ask one of our team members.
Your mouth is going to feel sensitive and a bit sore when you first get your braces put on. To help alleviate the soreness, you can rinse your mouth with a salt-water or take an over-the-counter analgesic (Tylenol, Advil, etc). If your braces are rubbing or poking your mouth, you can use dental wax (available at the office or your local drugstore) to cover problem areas and prevent blisters.
Part of the process of creating your new, beautiful smile is moving your teeth; to move them, they need to loosen up first. “Loose teeth” are a natural part of the process. Once your teeth are in the right place, they will settle in to their new position.
Sometimes a bracket will loosen or a wire may pop out of place. Don’t worry!
If it’s a flexible wire, you might be able to push it back into place. You can use a pencil eraser to push the down any poking wire. Dental wax will also be your friend; roll a ball and place on the spot to cover the problem area. Next, schedule an appointment to have the wire, bracket, or band repaired.
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. If the patient has been asked to wear rubber bands, they must be worn consistently for them to work properly. With your partnership, we should be able to complete your treatment within the estimated time!
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, begin by brushing the outside of your teeth and braces holding the brush tilted at a 45 degree angle. Brush along the top and bottom of the braces using light to moderate pressure, making sure you cover every surface very carefully. Don’t forget to brush the teeth all the way in the back and behind your back molars. It’s a good practice to brush for three minutes at least twice a day. Using a timer or singing along to a song will help you keep track of your time.
Flossing at least once a day is very important for good dental hygiene and to keep your teeth healthy. Flossing with braces may seem difficult at first. To floss properly, you will need to thread the floss under the archwire. This can be done in two ways – either by threading the floss through on your own or using a floss threader to thread the floss under the wire.
When threading the floss, it is a good practice to start by pushing the floss vertically from the top to the bottom on your upper teeth and from the bottom to the top on your bottom teeth, always threading away from your gums. Once threaded, carefully floss around each tooth and gum, moving the floss up and down, just like you did without braces.
A small orthodontic device placed on the back of the upper front teeth to prevent full closure of the teeth. This protects the lower braces from being damaged by the bite.