Information About Braces
Orthodontics, which most of us know as braces, describes the art of using appliances to straighten and align teeth. At Specialty Smiles, our professional orthodontist most commonly use braces to move teeth into their proper positioning.
Our Miami orthodontist will bond brackets to your teeth and thread wires through the brackets. The arch wires act as a track, guiding each tooth to its proper position.
There are several different types of orthodontic services available to our Specialty Smiles patients, including traditional metal braces and ceramic ‘tooth-colored’ braces.
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, like Tylenol. 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 should have provided you with some wax to put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know and we will be happy to provide you with some.
Don’t worry, there are lots of foods and treats you can still enjoy! However, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new braces or appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice, jerky
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, thick chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel, Starburst, Gum, Sour Patch & Gummies
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob (cut it off the cob), apples & carrots should be cut into small pieces
- Great Foods to START with your new braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, rice, soups
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, oranges
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake & cookies
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.
The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can determine whether you will need to come in for a repair. If any piece of your appliance comes off be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you at your next visit.
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.
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 Dr. Sedeño or Dr. Alfonso.
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 our staff know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection as we do have options at the practice available for purchase. 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.
Whether you play the kazoo or the saxophone, it’s no problem with braces. Our orthodontic team will guide you on the proper steps to avoid any disruption in your training. There is a short adjustment period where you will have to retrain your lips around the instrument, but it is no big deal. We got you covered.