When you begin orthodontic treatment, you may find that you need to make a few adjustments to your day-to-day lifestyle in order to keep your braces and other orthodontic appliances in good condition and ensure your smile progresses as planned. Dr. Scott Werner will go over what life will be like during your orthodontic treatment in Memphis, Tennessee. Our orthodontist will also provide tips that you can practice to make everyday life a little easier. If you have any questions, just ask us during your consultation at Memphis Orthodontic Specialist, which you can schedule by calling us at 901-767-5415.

Eating With Braces

Some types of food can damage or break your braces, halting the progression of your smile. We recommend that you avoid certain types of food during your treatment. These include:

  • Chewy foods (such as bagels and licorice)
  • Crunchy foods (such as popcorn, ice, and chips)
  • Sticky foods (such as caramel and chewing gum)
  • Hard foods (such as nuts and hard candies)
  • Foods that require biting into (such as corn on the cob, raw carrots, and uncut apples)

Oral Hygiene During Orthodontic Treatment

Maintaining good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment is crucial. Wearing braces may make brushing and flossing a little more difficult, but it is important that you continue to take good care of your teeth and smile in order to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems. We recommend that you:

  • Brush your teeth at least three times a day. Brush after every meal, and if you eat a snack in between meals, we recommend that you brush after that snack as well.
  • Use an interproximal brush in addition to a regular toothbrush. This will help clean around the brackets and wires to reach spots that your regular toothbrush may be unable to fully clean due to the braces.
  • Floss at least once a day. Use a floss threader to help floss behind the wire of your braces.
  • Rinse your teeth with water every time you clean them. Depending on your needs, we may also recommend using a specialized rinse.
  • Pay close attention to the list of foods to avoid while wearing braces. This will help keep your smile healthy and help you avoid damage to your braces.

Discomfort During Orthodontic Treatment

You may experience some discomfort or soreness when you begin wearing braces. This should go away within a few days. You may also find that your lips, cheeks, and tongue become irritated for a time while your mouth adjusts to the braces. Our orthodontist and team will provide you with dental wax to put over the braces to help relieve this irritation. You can also take a mild pain reliever. If soreness and irritation persist beyond a few days, please call our office.

Loose Teeth, Wires, or Bands

As your treatment progresses, you may feel that your teeth are a little loose. This is normal and is a result of your teeth being repositioned. Once your teeth are properly aligned, they will stop feeling loose.

If the wires and bands of your braces come loose, please contact us right away so that we can make any adjustments or repairs needed. Please bring any pieces of the appliance that have broken off with you to that emergency appointment.

Caring For Orthodontic Appliances

Your teeth and jaw can only move into their ideal positions if your appliances are in good condition and worn consistently, as directed by our orthodontist. A damaged orthodontic appliance will increase the length of your treatment. When you receive braces or other orthodontic appliances (such as headgear, retainers, or rubber bands), we will provide you with instructions on how to take care of them. Please follow these instructions closely to achieve the best possible results from your treatment.

Sports and Musical Instruments

You can continue to play sports and musical instruments while wearing braces. We strongly recommend that you wear a sports mouthguard to protect your teeth, gums, and braces during athletic activities. You may find that you need to make a few adjustments while playing a