Life with Braces in Chevy Chase, MD

Now that you have braces, you’ll need to take great care of them! The better you are about brushing and flossing, eating the right foods, and visiting our Chevy Chase orthodontic office, the better your results will be.

Success of treatment is a team effort. Good cooperation can help us stay on track. Should any questions or concerns arise, please do not hesitate to contact our office. It is our goal to get you to that beautiful smile in the least amount of time. We are here for YOU!

Brushing and Flossing With Braces

Oral hygiene is very important during treatment. The biggest enemy of your teeth is plaque and nest way to remove plaque is regular brushing and flossing, Wen brushing your teeth, please hold the brush at an angle and gently move the brush in small circles to clean the tooth surface and the brackets. Make sure to brush above and below the archwire. Dr. Bruno also recommends the use of a water flosser and an electric toothbrush.

Eating with Braces

Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

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 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! 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. It is also common for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

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 Dr. Bruno and our team as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

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.

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, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

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 appliance. Let Dr. Bruno know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact Dr. Bruno right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.

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