The adhesive used to attach the braces to your teeth cures rapidly, but takes twenty-four (24) hours to completely cure. You can eat any time after leaving our office, however, we ask that you remember the list of foods that may be harmful to your braces. Until you become accustomed to eating with your new braces, you may find it beneficial to follow a diet consisting of all soft foods.
WILL THE BRACES CAUSE DISCOMFORT?
Initially, the braces feel like they “stick out.” This is normal. As you become accustomed to your braces and tooth alignment improves, this sensation will cease to be a concern. Although the brackets have been rounded and smoothed, until the cheek tissues have “toughened” you may find it helpful to use a small piece of orthodontic wax around the bracket that is creating the irritation. If your supply of wax runs out, please call or text our office or just come in for more. Orthodontic wax may also be purchased
at a local drug store or pharmacy.
You will probably notice discomfort beginning a few hours after your braces are placed. Some teeth, usually the front teeth, may be “tender” and “sensitive” to pressure. Occasionally, patients report that they experience no discomfort, but most patients experience some soreness beginning sometime between the first four (4) to six (6) hours, peaking within three (3) days, and dissipating within seven (7) days. Exactly when the discomfort ceases is impossible to predict and differs with each patient.
Non-prescription pain remedies are recommended for discomfort (i.e. Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen). For maximum effectiveness, it may be best to take such medications before the discomfort begins. However, prolonged use of Ibuprofen can slow down tooth movement.
BEFORE LEAVING THE OFFICE
There are routine steps that we ask you to take prior to leaving the office. These steps will minimize discomfort related to irritation from the braces and ensure an optimal response to treatment. Please make these steps a part of each office visit:
1. Using your finger and tongue, check that wire ends do not extend into areas that might poke or abrade the tongue or cheek.
2. Make sure that you understand what you are going to do until your next appointment. This could include wearing elastics as instructed, activating an expander or following specific hygiene or eating habit instructions.
3. Make sure that you have an adequate supply of orthodontic wax, special cleaning aids, elastic rubber bands or other related materials you may need between appointments.
4. Make sure that your questions about treatment are answered. Treatment goes better when everyone understands the treatment process. We encourage parents to accompany their children to their appointments, allowing us the opportunity to update you on treatment progress.
A careful orthodontic patient can eat almost any food and not damage their braces. However, there are certain types of food that may cause trouble. Please use common sense, or if you are in doubt, ask us about a particular food you enjoy eating.
• Hard Foods
• Sticky and/or Chewy Foods
• Food High in Sugar Content
HARD FOODS may do damage by bending wires, loosening cement under the bands or breaking the little brackets and tubes which are attached.
STICKY and/or CHEWY FOODS damage braces by bending and pulling cement loose.
FOODS HIGH IN SUGAR CONTENT should be avoided whenever possible. If you eat any of them, brush your teeth immediately. If it’s not convenient to brush, always rinse your mouth with clear water after eating very sweet foods such as cake or pie.
DO NOT EAT:
• Popcorn, Nuts, Peanut Brittle
• Ice (not even if you’re careful)
• Lemons (pure lemon juice can hurt your tooth enamel)
• Corn-on-the cob (cut it off the cob)
• Corn chips, crisp taco shells, corn nuts, sunflower seeds in the shell.
• Taffy, sticky candies (i.e. Starburst, Now-N-Laters, Jolly Ranchers, etc.), beef jerky, etc.
• Pizza crust (the hard outer edge)
EAT WITH EXTREME CARE:
• Carrot & Celery Sticks (only when cut into thin slices)
• Apples (again cut into thin wedges)
• Hard Breads (only if you take small pieces and are very careful)
• Occasional Soft Drinks (again rinse your mouth with water afterwards)
• Sugarless Chewing Gum
WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK YOUR CUSTOMER CARE MANAGER FOR APPROVAL