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10 Top Braces Tips to Make Your Life With Braces Better

Braces bring beautiful smiles! Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics will do all we can to give you the best results possible from wearing braces. However, you’ll need to do your part, too! 

Successful orthodontic treatment depends on work from the orthodontist and the patient. We want you to have the best results possible, so here are some top tips to make your treatment easier. Sticking to these tips can make your treatment better and faster than if you don’t. 

Foods to Eat With Braces

You’ve probably heard about food restrictions with braces. While there are foods to avoid, there are plenty of foods to enjoy with braces! We also have a list of foods you can enjoy with braces, but only if you eat them carefully or modify them slightly. 

Foods to Eat With Care With Braces

  • Pizza – Avoid hand-tossed (too chewy) or thin crust (too hard). Soft crust or no crust is best. 
  • Fruits – Small, bite-sized pieces without skin are OK. Watch the seeds on the strawberries. They can get stuck in your braces. 
  • Oatmeal – Soft, cooked oatmeal is fine. Raw oatmeal can damage your braces.
  • BBQ or cooked meats – Go boneless because the bones can knock off brackets. Eat meat in small bites.

List of Foods You Can Eat With Braces Freely

  • Poultry and Meats — chicken (not extra crispy), meatballs, lunch meats, hot dogs, sausage
  • Seafood — shrimp, tuna, salmon, crab, lobster
  • Dairy — ice cream, smoothies, soft cheeses, milkshakes, puddings, protein shakes
  • Soft bread and cakes — tortillas, sandwich white bread, pancakes, muffins (no nuts), cakes, soft cookies
  • Grains and pasta — cooked pasta, soft-cooked rice, cooked quinoa 
  • Vegetables — steamed vegetables including spinach, squash/zucchini, broccoli, well-cooked or mashed potatoes, cooked beans
  • Fruit — bananas, fruit juices, gelatin snacks, applesauce

Foods to Avoid With Braces

Some foods could damage your braces, which is why you should avoid them. Here’s a list of foods you can’t eat with braces:

  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Sticky foods — gum, caramels, chewy snack bars, toffee
  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice, taffy, beef jerky, gummy bears
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, tortilla chips, ice, hard cookies, hard taco shells
  • Foods that require front bite — apples, corn on the cob, raw pears, raw peaches, raw carrots, raw celery
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Your Oral Hygiene Routine with Braces

Brush Your Teeth Twice Daily

Good oral hygiene is vital during braces treatment to avoid tooth decay and gum disease. You must brush your teeth with braces to avoid cavities or white spots around the brackets. Brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Try using an electric toothbrush with soft bristles for the best results.

Floss Threaders and Water Flossers

Use floss threaders to get around archwires and floss your teeth. Floss threaders are available at major retailers and pharmacies. Water flossers can be used to remove food particles from brackets and from between teeth. However, you must use dental floss at least once daily for a thorough cleaning. 

Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash not only freshens your breath, but it can also help wash away particles and plaque from your teeth. Use mouthwash half an hour after you brush so the fluoride in your toothpaste has time to work. 

If you’re using a fluoride mouthwash, wait half an hour to eat or drink so the fluoride in your mouthwash has time to work.

Experiencing Braces Pain?

Use Dental Wax

Braces can irritate your cheeks, lips, or tongue, especially right after you get them. Use dental wax, also called braces wax or orthodontic wax, to cover sharp areas that are causing irritation or sores. 

Your mouth will “toughen up” as it gets used to your braces. Until then, dental wax is your friend. You can pick up some from us or find it at a local pharmacy or the dental care section of your local grocery store.

Pain Relievers for Braces Pain

  • Over-the-counter medications like Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) should help! 
  • Oral Gels like Orajel can provide immediate relief by numbing the area.
  • Rinsing with warm salt water. Warm salt water acts as a natural soother for inflammation, easing any swelling or pain from adjusting to braces.
  • An ice pack applied to the area experiencing pain for no more than 10 minutes at a time will also help soothe swelling.

If none of the above solutions help relieve pain and discomfort, call us so we can make sure that there is not a more serious issue causing pain.

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Tips for Keeping Your Braces Treatment on Track

Wear Your Rubber Bands With Braces

We may ask you to wear rubber bands that stretch from your upper jaw to your lower jaw. These rubber bands are important to your treatment. They will line your jaws up properly. You need to wear your rubber bands as prescribed every day.

What if a Bracket Becomes Loose or Broken?

Contact Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics immediately if you need dental wax to cover a broken wire or bracket. We must repair loose or broken brackets or broken wires as soon as possible. We will need to bring you in for repairs to keep your treatment plan on track, so contact your orthodontist right away!

Keep Your Appointments

We know your time is precious, but we will need to see you every few weeks to ensure your treatment is still on track. Make sure you keep your appointments with us. If you need to reschedule, call right away. We will work around your schedule while keeping your treatment on track! 

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Common Questions From Our Patients

  • Can I Still Play Sports With Braces?
    • Yes! Who doesn’t love playing sports? During your orthodontic treatment, you’ll have to practice extra caution, which is why we highly recommend that our patients wear a mouthguard with braces.
    • How Often Can I Change The Color Of My Braces? 
      • At Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics, if you have our clear ceramic braces, you can change colors at every appointment. Check out our braces color wheel!
      • My Teeth Are Loose. Is That Okay?
        • Perfectly normal, actually! To be moved to the proper position, your teeth need to loosen. Don’t worry, though. Once in place, your teeth will harden back up.

        Get Braces Treatment in Columbia, IL

        Your treatment depends on your due diligence, but it also depends on choosing the right orthodontist for you. Your orthodontist should see you as a person with a unique case.

        At Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics, we make it our mission to provide an exceptional experience from start to finish. We provide treatment with your goals and your comfort in mind. We are here for you if you have any questions or concerns about your braces. 

        Are you ready for braces? Start a virtual consult for braces treatment in Columbia, IL, or Waterloo, IL. Together, we can create the smile you’ve always wanted!

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