Congratulations on beginning your orthodontic journey! Engage Orthodontics in Appleton is excited to be taking this step with you. We are here to make sure this is an amazing experience for you and your family. Here is what you can expect to feel immediately after getting braces and throughout your treatment. You are on your way to achieving the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve!
Eating With Braces
In order to protect your new braces, and ensure that your treatment goes smoothly, there are a few dietary adjustments you’ll need to make. This can be difficult to get used to at first, but don’t worry – there are tons of delicious foods you can still enjoy while wearing brace, such as:
- Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk, yogurts, cottage cheese, eggs
- Breads – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins with no nuts
- Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats – poultry, tender meats, meatballs, lunch meats
- Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, beans
- Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, smoothies, berries
- Occasional Treats – ice cream, milkshakes, Jell-O, plain soft chocolates, peanut butter cups, brownies, and soft cookies. Just remember to always keep your sugar intake as low as possible!
The foods you’ll want to avoid while wearing braces include, but aren’t limited to:
- Chewy foods – bagels, licorice, pizza crust, French breads
- Crunchy foods – popcorn, chips, ice, hard candies including lollipops, thick pretzels
- Sticky foods – caramel candies, chewing gum, gummy candies
Hard foods – nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots, ribs and chicken wings
There are also a few oral habits you’ll want to steer clear of in order to keep your braces functioning perfectly. Chewing on objects like pens and ice cubes, biting your nails, and smoking can all cause unwanted pressure on your braces, so do your best to find another way to keep yourself busy while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Emergency Orthodontic Care in Appleton
For situations requiring immediate medical attention, you should contact your doctor or local emergency medical services.
For orthodontic-related emergencies, our office is here to help. Most emergency situations can be temporarily taken care of at home! Usually, loose brackets and wires that are causing some discomfort or poking can be covered in wax or pushed back into place. Loose and poking wires can be manipulated using tweezers or a pencil eraser or can be clipped with nail clippers. It’s still important to call the office and set up an appointment to have the issue corrected.
In the event of a more severe issue (an appliance breaks, a wire slips loose, or is preventing the mouth from opening or closing), call our office to schedule an appointment and have the problem taken care of right away.
Keep in mind that there may be some discomfort for a few weeks after getting your braces on and for several days after an adjustment. In these situations, rinsing with salt water or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may alleviate the discomfort.
When upper and lower braces are placed, in many instances, the top teeth bite down and contact the lower braces. This may cause the upper teeth to ‘bite off’ the lower braces, and as a result, will cause many extra visits to the office. To prevent this and allow placement of upper and lower braces at the same time, we use small temporary build-ups called “Bite Turbos” on the back side of the front teeth, or “Build Ups” on the biting surface of the rear teeth.
Because your bite is being propped open, your back teeth may not fully touch. This is normal and expected. Start with softer foods that are easier to chew and work your way up to more solid foods.
If the Bite Bumps come off, please call to schedule a repair.
Although Bite Bumps may be slightly annoying at first, the treatment time saved is well worth it in the end.
What are they?
When the Engage Team uses the word ‘Elastics’, they are referring to tiny rubber bands. These tiny rubber bands apply pressures to the teeth in certain directions that braces alone cannot. These elastics are connected to tiny hooks on your braces or Invisalign trays. The elastics can be taken in and out, and Dr. Suzy and Dr. Mark will instruct you on how often to wear them, and what configuration they should be worn in. Elastics should only be worn as prescribed by an orthodontist.
What if your elastics break?
If your elastics break, simply replace them with a new one. If you run out of elastics, call our office and we will gladly ship you a new pack. Although it is not common for elastics to break, sometimes opening too wide or too much stretch of the elastic will cause it to tear. If your elastics repeatedly break, contact our office, and we will fit you to a more appropriate elastic size.
Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, begin by brushing the outside of your teeth and braces, holding the brush tilted at a 45-degree angle above the bracket. Brush along the top and bottom of the braces using light to moderate pressure, making sure you cover every surface very carefully. Don’t forget to brush the teeth all the way in the back and behind your back molars! It’s a good practice to brush for three minutes at least twice a day.
We recommend brushing your retainers after you take them out. Retainers can be cleaned with your toothpaste or simple hand soap. Make sure to rinse them under water when you take them out of your mouth to get the yuckies off. Soaking them in water and denture cleaner during the day works great too and will keep them tasting fresh.
Do not allow your retainers to sit in hot water or put in the dishwasher as this will deform them. Always keep your retainers in a case when not in your mouth. Never keep them in a napkin! (This is the most common reason retainers are accidentally thrown away.) If you lose or break a retainer, please contact the office as soon as possible. A lapse in retainer wear is an opportunity for teeth to shift out of place.