A successful smile transformation starts with you!
To stay on track with estimated treatment time and have a healthy mouth, it is essential to follow any instructions that Drs. Halpern, Wolk, or Hoffman have given. In particular, be careful of what you eat, spend the extra time brushing and flossing, wear elastics or an appliance as much as advised, and don't miss your appointments at our Calgary orthodontic office. These are the keys to have the perfect smile and to stay on your estimated treatment time.
Eating with Braces
While you have braces, you’ll need to maintain a balanced diet while avoiding hard, crunchy, and sticky foods. Avoiding these types of foods prevents breaking brackets, increased chance of cavities, and possibly making your treatment time longer! Avoid drinking too much pop or iced tea to avoid white spots (initial cavities) from developing on your teeth.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- Chewy foods - bagels, licorice, granola bars, rice krispies
- 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, chicken wings (take meat off bone), ribs
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy - soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads - soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins w/o 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 w/o nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Taking Care of Your Braces at Home
Care for your braces at home by maintaining great brushing and flossing routines and following all the directions given to you about appliance wear. Many orthodontic tools can be used at home to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Please ask a member of our Calgary orthodontic office for tips and advice that is just right for you!
Taking care of your teeth while wearing braces requires more detail with flossing and brushing techniques. You may want to give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes at home when brushing and flossing, especially at first before you become really good at the new techniques. We recommend brushing after every meal at least 3 times a day.
Your appliance must be kept in your case or in your mouth as prescribed by Drs. Halpern, Wolk or Hoffman. Keeping your appliance in a case will avoid having become lost or broken. Please wear them for as many hours as suggested or treatment length may be affected.
Dealing with Discomfort
On occasion, you may feel discomfort due to long poking wires, canker sores from getting used to the brackets in your mouth, getting your braces on for the first time or having your wire changed.
- If you have long wires in the back of your mouth that keep catching on your cheek, use a piece of wax provided by our office or use the knotches on your wires to slide the wire side to side; this will help with discomfort until you're able to see the office.
- Use a piece of wax to prevent the rubbing and relieve discomfort of canker sores on your lips or cheeks. Our soft tissues in the mouth tend to callous over time and will get used to the braces.
- Changing wires or getting your braces on will cause some tenderness for a few days, so we recommend you use whatever pain relief you commonly use at home and eat soft foods.
If the glue holding a bracket to your tooth breaks off, make an appointment at our office within two weeks so we can rebond the bracket. The longer you wait, the more time the tooth has to relapse to its crooked position and prolong your total treatment time.
If an appliance breaks, please make an appointment to come in as soon as possible so we can take impressions for a new appliance. There may be some unfavorable tooth movement the longer you are unable to wear your appliance, which could result in needing to remake the appliance—an expensive and time-consuming process.