Life with Braces

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Young girl smiling with bracesDr. Patrick Moore and the entire staff at San Antonio Orthodontics aim to provide you with the most comfortable and convenient orthodontic treatment possible. As your trusted providers of braces and Invisalign in San Antonio and Pleasanton, we’ve provided you with a list of guidelines that you should keep in mind as you proceed through your braces treatment. With this help, your treatment should go as smoothly as possible!

Brushing

We recommend brushing at least twice every day (once in the morning and once at night), though brushing after every meal is preferable. Make sure to brush thoroughly – brush all your chewing surfaces, your gums, and your tongue. We also suggest using a fluoride mouthwash. If your brushing habits are subpar, you may develop cavities or permanent white marks on your teeth.

Flossing

To get to the areas between your teeth that can’t be reached with a toothbrush, we recommend flossing. Use dental floss every night to remove any plaque and food particles between your teeth. To make brushing simpler, you can use a reusable floss threader to get underneath the archwire.

Foods to Avoid

When you’re wearing braces, there are two different types of food that you’ll want to avoid: hard food and sticky food. Hard foods can sometimes break or damage the brackets and wires of your braces. Sticky foods can get caught between your brackets and wires, sometimes tugging them loose.

Some of these hard foods that you should avoid are:

  • Nuts
  • Potato chips
  • Beef jerky
  • Hard pizza crust
  • Peanut brittle
  • Hard candy
  • Bagels
  • Hard taco shells

Some examples of sticky foods that you should avoid include:

  • Caramel
  • Taffy
  • Starburst
  • Licorice
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Gum

Problems with Braces

If you believe that you’re having an orthodontic emergency, please don’t hesitate to call our office. Thankfully though, true orthodontic emergencies are rare, though that doesn’t mean that you won’t sometimes find yourself having problems with your braces. To help keep you prepared and aware of what to do, we’ve provided you with some guidelines for these common problems.

  • Poking Wires – This can occur due to the shifting and bending of the wires. You can either bend the wire with a pencil eraser or apply orthodontic wax to the part that’s causing discomfort. Call us to see if it needs to be replaced.
  • Loose Bands or Brackets – These likely won’t cause any problems for you, though if they do, cover the part of the braces that’s causing discomfort with some orthodontic wax. Give us a call as soon as you can to schedule an appointment with us.
  • Lost Separator – It’s common for separators to fall out during treatment as that just means that they’re doing their job. However, you’ll still want to give us a call to see if they need to be replaced.
  • Loose Teeth – If you notice that your teeth are a bit loose, don’t panic – this just means that your teeth are moving as intended. In order for your teeth to arrive at their proper positions, they need to be loosened so that they can move.
  • Sore Teeth and Gums – Your teeth may be sore for about two to five days after each appointment. We recommend taking Motrin, Advil, or ibuprofen to relieve any discomfort.
  • Mouth Sores – To alleviate any discomfort, you can either apply Zilactin-B to the area, use orthodontic wax, or rinse with warm salt water.

Playing Sports with Braces

One of the great things about braces is that they won’t interfere with your athletic activities at all! You can continue to play sports while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. However, we recommend that you wear a mouthguard to help protect your braces and your teeth. We provide a special orthodontic mouthguard for our patients for a small fee. If you do happen to have an emergency while playing sports though, immediately examine your mouth and braces to see if any damage has occurred. If your orthodontics are damaged or your teeth feel loose, please call us immediately.

Playing Instruments with Braces

You’ll also still be able to play your musical instrument while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you need them, we can provide you with comfort covers for a small fee.

Contact Your Providers of Braces and Invisalign in San Antonio and Pleasanton!

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with your providers of braces and Invisalign in San Antonio and Pleasanton, feel free to give us a call at (830) 455-4990. Dr. Patrick Moore and the entire staff at San Antonio Orthodontics hope to hear from you soon!