Make the Most of Your Braces Treatment

Congratulations on beginning treatment with braces! This is an exciting step towards a healthier mouth and straighter smile.

Below are a few key things you need to know as you begin your orthodontic journey. If you have questions about any of these bullet points please let us know and we can discuss them more in depth.

Keeping Your Teeth Clean

Please use the prescription strength toothpaste included in your take-home bag. This goes a long way in preventing cavities and white spots during treatment! If you did not receive a prescription please let us know and we can call your pharmacy.

We recommend that our braces patients brush thoroughly after every meal or snack. If you can’t brush right away, try to at least rinse your mouth well with water to remove any food debris.

Poor brushing can lead to white spots and cavities—don’t let this happen to you! We’ll give you feedback on your brushing throughout treatment. If we encourage you to work on brushing and it doesn’t improve, we may need to remove the braces before achieving an ideal result.

How to Brush

You need to brush every surface of your tooth and braces. The biggest area that people miss is along the gum line. Flip the bristles of your toothbrush upside down and brush on the top of your upper braces and the bottom of your lower braces to get these difficult-to-reach spots.

It’s always good to check your teeth in a well-lit mirror after brushing to ensure you remove all the food and plaque from them.

Flossing With Braces

Flossing can be difficult with braces. Floss threaders, super floss, or interproximal brushes can be used, but the process is still difficult even with these adjuncts.

Dr. Brady highly recommends using a waterpik (water flosser) throughout treatment. It will remove food from your braces that brushing alone cannot get out.

What to Expect With Braces

When you first get braces, your teeth and mouth may feel tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise you won’t feel this way forever. You can overlap Tylenol and ibuprofen to help with the discomfort.

Dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water can also help ease soreness. Eating softer foods like soup, smoothies, or ice cream is a good idea until you feel better. Your teeth will feel better soon but while they are moving it will require some time to adjust. Just hang in there, and you'll feel better over time.

How It Works

As teeth straighten out or spaces are closed, the only place for excess wire to go is the back of the last bracket. This is good and bad. Good because your teeth are moving. It's bad because the wires can poke.

You can place wax or sugar-free gum on the end of the wire to make it feel better. If that doesn’t work, give us a call and stop by the office. We can quickly correct the uncomfortable wires.

The first wire used in orthodontics is extremely flexible to correct crowding and rotations. This makes it great for straightening teeth, but it does lead to the wire coming looser than we would like.

If the wire becomes loose, you may be able to place it back in the bracket using tweezers. If you can’t get it back in on your own, give us a call and stop by the office. We can quickly place it back in the bracket.

Getting Adjusted

It takes a month or two for your gums and cheeks to adjust to the braces, and tender spots may pop up on your cheeks and tongue. Use wax or sugar-free gum on any areas that are rubbing the wrong way.

It is normal for teeth to be loose during orthodontic treatment. There is a little ligament around the root of each tooth that widens as the tooth moves, leading to the tooth becoming wiggly. It can be alarming to see it for the first time, but this is completely normal.

Foods to Avoid

To protect your braces and teeth during treatment, be sure to avoid any foods that are too crunchy or chewy. This is especially important in the first week or two as the glue is still setting. Foods to avoid include:

  • Most chips
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Some raw fruits and veggies like whole apples and carrots
  • Nuts
  • Corn that’s still on the cob
  • Jerky
  • Candy like caramels, gummy bears, Milk Duds, Starbursts and Skittles
  • Chewing gum

Orthodontic Emergencies

True orthodontic emergencies are rare. Most problems can be handled in a day or two with no consequences. If anything ever breaks or comes loose, please call our office.

If it’s after hours, please call or text Dr. Brady’s cell phone at (708) 710-3136 (tel:7087103136). If Dr. Brady can’t make your teeth and gums comfortable over the phone, he will always meet you at the office to ensure you’re comfortable.

Tweezers can be used to replace loose wires. Pencil erases can adjust steel ties that might be poking you. Sugar-free gum and wax can also cover any uncomfortable wires.

Our Team is Here for You

At Brady Orthodontics, we aim to provide you with a stress-free and rewarding orthodontic experience from start to finish. We’re here to help you with everything from in-office care to simple messages of encouragement if you need them. We’ve even dropped items off for patients at home before!

We hope you find this information helpful. Questions and concerns will pop up throughout the treatment process, and we’re always happy to discuss these with you. We’re excited to partner with you towards improved oral health and a beautifully aligned smile. Let’s get to work!