Do Braces Hurt? Life with Braces
At All About Braces and Colorado Orthodontics, our mission is to help our patients achieve a smile they can feel proud of in any situation. We offer a variety of orthodontic treatment options including braces and Invisalign, and we strive to create personalized treatment plans that perfectly suit each patient's unique orthodontic needs. When you do begin your treatment, there will be a number of things you'll have to get used to - and with diligent care, your braces will help you unlock the smile you've always dreamed of.
Food & Braces
While you're wearing braces, you'll have to avoid certain foods that can damage your braces – these include foods that are particularly hard, crunchy, chewy, sticky, or filled with sugar. Here are some sample foods that you'll need to avoid while wearing braces:
Foods to avoid with braces
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- 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
Foods you CAN eat with braces
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness from Braces
When you first get started with braces, you'll probably notice some soreness or tenderness in your teeth and mouth. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about, and it should pass within a week.
If you do experience discomfort, try washing your mouth with lukewarm saltwater for a couple of minutes. Swish and gargle it, but don't swallow it – it'll help to sooth irritated spots in your mouth.
If the rinse doesn't help, you can also use an over the counter pain reliever like Tylenol. You may find that your lips, cheeks, or tongue get irritated for the first week or two of having braces, but this will subside as your mouth gets used to the braces. We're also happy to provide dental wax that you can use to cover up irritating spots on your braces.
If you notice your teeth start to feel loose during treatment, don't worry. It's a normal part of treatment, and it just means that your braces are working. Your teeth will change positions over the coming months, and once they set into their new positions in your new smile, they'll stop feeling loose.
Loose Wires and Bands
You may also find that the wires or bands of your braces start feeling loose or come off. While this does happen, it requires immediate attention, so please contact us as soon as possible if this does happen. If any piece falls off, be sure to save it and bring it into the office.
You may be able to temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser to push it back in place. You can also use dental wax or a cotton ball over the wire if it's causing you pain or discomfort.
Caring for Your Appliances
To ensure the success of your treatment and to minimize the length of treatment, it's important that you take care of all your orthodontic appliances. Whether you've been prescribed headgear, rubber bands, or a retainer, you'll have to wear them for the amount of time specified each day – it's the only way to ensure your treatment is effective and you achieve the smile of your dreams.
Sports & Braces
If you're an athlete who's nervous about treatment, we've got great news: you can still practice and play sports while wearing braces! The only thing you'll need is your own custom-made mouthguard, which will make you 60 times less likely to suffer an injury to your teeth or orthodontic appliance. Let us know if you need a mouthguard and we'll make one to fit your smile and appliances.
If you suffer a bad fall or other sports injury, it's critical to check your mouth and appliance for damage immediately. If you see any damage or notice anything has come loose, call us right away. You can use wax or a saltwater rinse to relieve discomfort, but we'll need to get you in for an appointment as soon as possible to make repairs.
Contact Your Aurora, Lakewood, Thornton, Arvada, Highlands Ranch & Denver, CO Orthodontist
Braces take a little bit of getting used to, but with proper care, they're your ticket to a new smile and a new you. If you have more questions about what life with braces is like or want to find out more about orthodontic treatment, we encourage you to contact us at one of the offices below. Or, if you're ready to get started down the path to a new smile, you can use our easy online form to request your initial consultation at any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you revolutionize your smile!