Braces FAQ From DiCiccio Freeman Orthodontics

What Foods Do I Have to Avoid?

Now that you have your braces on, you are on your way to an amazing new smile; however, there are some foods that, for the sake of your braces, you will have to avoid for a while. Basically, the foods that you need to avoid are those that could damage or dislodge your braces and/or teeth.

Foods to avoid include:

  • Chewy foods and candy — bagels, licorice, gummy candy, and pizza crust.
  • Hard candy — lemon drops and Jolly Ranchers.
  • Sticky candy — caramel, chewing gum, and taffy.
  • Ice — it is fine to have ice in your beverage; however, chewing on ice is very bad for your teeth. You should never chew or crunch on ice, even after your braces are removed.
  • Foods that require biting into — raw apples, pears, carrots, corn-on-the-cob, chicken wings and ribs (bone-in).
  • Crunchy, hard foods — nuts, cereals, popcorn, chips, and thick pretzels.

How Long Will I Have to Wear Braces?

Your treatment time depends on the issues that are being addressed. The type of bite that you have and/or any orthodontic issues you are being treated for all dictate how long you will have to wear your braces; however, for the most part, patients wear their braces between 12 and 24 months.

What Age is the Best Age to See an Orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that children have a pre-orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7. Even at this age, an orthodontist can detect subtle problems with emerging teeth and/or jaw growth that may need to be addressed at some point in the future. By taking your child to the orthodontist as recommended by the AAO, he or she can be monitored to ensure that if a problem does arise, treatment can begin at the most favorable time. Even if your child is older than 7, you should consider making an appointment with an orthodontist for an evaluation. Initial consultations at DiCiccio Freeman Orthodontics are complimentary, consider calling our office to schedule your child’s free consultation today.

How Do I Care for My Braces?

Now that you have braces, you need to brush your teeth after every meal using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride-containing toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval. In addition, you need to floss at least once a day. You must brush and floss between your teeth and brackets. Consider using an interdental brush to do this, just make sure you have the correct size brush: You should never have to force an interdental brush through a space. If you do, then it is too big and you need to try a smaller size.

After flossing, you can use a mouthwash or rinse. Remember to visit your orthodontist regularly so your progress can be monitored. You never know, maybe everything will be moving along so well that you will be ready to get your braces off early.

What Can I Do to Ease the Pain from Braces?

Since we are gradually moving your teeth into their proper positions, you should expect to experience some discomfort. For the most part, this discomfort will be noticeable directly after an adjustment. To ease the pain, you can gargle with a salt water rinse and/or take over-the-counter pain medication (e.g., Advil or Tylenol). In addition, we will provide you with Dental Wax. You can use this wax to smooth over any brackets that are bothering you.

To make your salt water rinse:

  • Take ½ teaspoon of salt and add it to one cup of warm water.
  • Gently rinse your mouth and then spit the salt water out.
  • Once you have finished rinsing, if any salt water remains, it needs to be discarded.

Once My Treatment with Braces is Over, Will I Have to Wear a Retainer?

You will be required to wear a retainer following your treatment with braces. Wearing your retainer is extremely important because it keeps your teeth in their proper places. If you neglect to wear your retainer, your teeth will begin drifting back to their previous positions.

Choosing to address malocclusion, overcrowded or crooked teeth now can prevent future problems from developing, including cavities, gum disease, chronic jaw pain, headaches, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) and earaches. To learn more about the newest braces available, the Damon System and Damon Clear, contact DiCiccio Freeman Orthodontics today and schedule your free initial consultation. Let us help you create an amazing smile.