What foods should I avoid while I have braces?
There is really only a small list of food to avoid while wearing braces. This is to avoid damaging the brackets or to prevent food particles from becoming trapped between the brackets and wires. Food to avoid include:
- Chewy foods such as fruit leathers, beef jerky or bagels
- Highly crunch foods like raw carrots, chips, raw celery, and popcorn
- Sticky foods like caramel candy, licorice, and marshmallows
- Very hard foods like hard candy, hard breadsticks, or pizza crust
- Any food you have to bite into such as apples or corn on the cob. You can still enjoy these foods by slicing the apples or removing the corn from the cob!
How do I brush my teeth with braces?
Before brushing, do a quick rinse with water. This will dislodge any food particles stuck between the wires or brackets. Brush beginning at the gum line, using a 45-degree angle of approach. As you move towards the brackets brush from both the top and the bottom, ensuring that the bristles reach under the wires and around the brackets. This process may take some extra time in the beginning, but once you are used to it, it will be routine for you. Follow up with a thorough flossing. You will need to use precise and careful flossing technique to make sure you do not dislodge or loosen the brackets or wires. Dr. Jennifer will advise you with the best flossing technique during your appointment.
Are braces painful? How do I ease the pain?
Generally, braces are not painful. However, you may feel a little sore or uncomfortable immediately after you first get them. This soreness is normal, and it will not last long. A salt water rinse can help relieve the soreness and inflammation. Dissolve a single teaspoon of salt in a full cup of lukewarm water and swish around your mouth for a few minutes. If soreness persists, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or Tylenol. If you experience lip, cheek, or tongue irritation in the weeks after getting braces, some wax can alleviate the problem quickly.
How long will I have to have braces?
The amount of time that you will need to wear braces varies, depending on several things, such as the severity of your bite problem. Most patients need to wear braces for 12 to 24 months, but this can be shorter or longer depending on your case. Dr. Jennifer will discuss this with you and give you a general idea of what you can expect. After several months of wearing braces, the progress can be measured more easily, and a more accurate update can be given to you regarding how much longer you can expected to wear braces.
Can I get braces that are less noticeable?
Absolutely! Nowadays, there are several options for braces that are more discreet. Invisalign is a popular option because it uses a transparent plastic tray to apply pressure to straighten your teeth. It will fit in so that it feels like a second skin with no wires or brackets. Another popular option for less noticeable braces is ceramic braces. It is very similar to the traditional metal braces where brackets and wires are used to guide your teeth to the correct position. However, instead of stainless steel, the brackets are white ceramic that better blend in with your teeth. If you do not want anything at the front of your teeth at all, there is also lingual braces where metal brackets are attached to the back of your teeth where they can’t be seen.
How much do braces cost?
The cost of braces depends on which type of braces you choose, how long you will need treatment, and other factors unique to your case. Dr. Jennifer can offer payment plans that can work with your budget and get you the orthodontic care you need. Contact us to learn more!