Life with Braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

Take Care of Your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.

Read Our Testimonials

Dr. Leo Spyrou and his team are magnificent. My daughter has been a patient for 4 years, had the braces and now retainers. The experience was nothing less than positive. Her teeth are beautiful and people compliment her daily. We were so completely satisfied with Dr. Spyrou that we entrusted our second daughter's mouth in his care. Once again, happiness. My daughter goes in and out of the office willingly and happily. The women that work in the office are so friendly and considerate. I cannot say enough for Dr. Spyrou and his staff; they are wonderful and know their craft well. They get our constant recommendation!! ~ The Piccoli Family, Stoneham, MA ~
Dr. Spyrou has been working with our daughter for the past 2 years. His expertise and knowledge is evident when you sit down to discuss in length his view of your child's teeth a facial structure and overall health. Dr. Spyrou is able to show you firsthand what he sees when he looks at your child and explains to you treatment options. His staff has been nothing short of professional. Not only has our daughter's teeth come a long way, but throughout the entire process, Dr. Spyrou and his staff have always been willing and able to answer any questions or concerns. We would highly recommend Dr. Spyrou and will soon be bringing our son for his initial evaluation with Dr. Spyrou.~ John and Deb Spencer, North Reading, MA
Dr. "Leo" and his staff exemplify the "4P's" of what is most important to me as a parent… Professionalism, Personable, Price, and of course Perfection!

After experiencing a great orthodontic experience with my oldest daughter, bringing my youngest daughter to Dr. Leo was a "no-brainer". Great smiles… from both kids and parents alike!~ The Craham Family, Billerica, MA
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