Life with Braces in San Carlos and Menlo Park, CA

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, during treatment you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods — licorice, beef jerky
  • 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

During braces treatment you can still enjoy most of your favorite foods.  The hard or sticky chewy foods should be avoided as they are the ones that may damage appliances.

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!

If needed you can taking a pain reliever like tylenol or advil.  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.  Warm salt water rinses along with placing wax over the braces in the affected area will help lessen the tenderness.

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 appliances. If any piece of your appliances comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

To temporarily relieve discomfort from a loose or displaced wire that is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the area causing irritation to relieve the discomfort.

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, retainer or other appliances prescribed by Dr. Kathleen Tavarez.

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 appliances. Ask us and we can help you find the right mouthguard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliances 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.