Life With Braces

Braces from Nord Orthodontics offer full, three-dimensional control of the teeth. They allow for correction of the bite as well as providing a beautiful, dynamic smile. Whether you have traditional braces, Damon® Smile self-ligating braces, or Invisalign clear aligners, you’ll have to take special care of your teeth and appliances while you’re in treatment.

Eating with Braces

The good news is that you’ll be back to eating popcorn and chewing bubble gum before you know it—just not while you have braces. Foods that are sticky (caramels, taffy, bubble gum, fruit chews), crunchy (chips, hard granola bars, hard taco shells, ice, popcorn), and hard (nuts, hard candies) can break brackets and snap wires, which means you’ll have to make unnecessary visits to our  office to have your braces repaired.

Other than any of the delicious things we just mentioned, you can eat everything you would normally eat, just be a little more cautious to avoid breaking off any brackets. With anything that is solid, like some fruits and vegetables, slice it up instead of biting directly into it.

Additionally, don’t chew on anything that can damage brackets or bands such as pens, pencils, fingernails, or ice. If you play any sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.

Dealing with Discomfort

When you first get the braces on you may experience soreness lasting anywhere from three to five days. We recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed to help ease the pain until you get adjusted to the braces. Your lips and cheeks may also become irritated when first getting the braces on—this can last up to two weeks. We will give you wax to apply to any of the areas that are causing pain. Once you have adjusted to getting the braces on, your cheeks and gums will no longer be irritated.

You may also feel the teeth become loose—this is normal as the teeth need to loosen in order to move. Depending on the crowding, you may feel that one tooth is looser than the rest of your teeth. Once your teeth become straight the teeth will settle into their new positions and no longer be loose.

Occasionally, wires, brackets, or bands may become loose. To avoid this, make sure to stay away from the hard, sticky, crunchy foods we mentioned above. If any wire, bracket, or band becomes loose, you can apply wax to give you comfort until you can be seen in the office to have it fixed.

Caring for Your Braces at Home

Brushing with braces is not a difficult task, but it is time consuming to make sure you’ve gotten every nook and cranny cleaned. The more you brush and floss with braces, the better you’ll get at it, and the faster it will take!

We instruct our patients to brush at after every meal and right before bed time and to floss at least once a day. When brushing, make sure you are getting every angle—you will want to angle your toothbrush along your gums, above the brackets, directly on the braces, and below the brackets, and brush in a circular motion.

Use the wire brush we give you to get anywhere your toothbrush couldn’t get: behind the hooks and in between the brackets. When flossing, you will want to guide your floss in between each, tooth up under the wire. We will give you floss threaders to make it easier to thread the floss through. You will then floss in between each tooth contact like you normally would, and repeat the threading process between each brace.

For removable appliances like Invisalign and retainers we follow the motto “out of your face, in the case!” In other words, when the appliance is out of your mouth it should be kept in the case we give you so it is protected and not thrown away.