Reagin Orthodontics

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Life With Braces

Braces bring big changes to your life

When you wear braces, lots of things in your life will change. While the biggest is your smile, there are smaller accommodations you need to make while you are in treatment. To prepare you for the changes you will encounter, Reagin Orthodontics’ expert team has prepared this list of items to keep in mind when you get braces.

Eating with braces means avoiding certain foods.

It isn’t good news to hear that you will need to change your diet, but it also isn’t the end of the world. While some foods must be avoided because they damage braces, the majority of foods will still be fine. Here are some of the foods you need to avoid:

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice.
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips.
  • Sticky foods: caramels, bubble gum.
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy.
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots.

Also, avoid chewing habits where you bite hard things, like pens, pencils, and fingernails. Damaged braces mean spending more time in treatment, and we know you would prefer to finish as quickly as possible.

Teen girl with braces smiling

You should not feel genuine pain, but soreness is expected.

Luckily, this does not last throughout treatment. The soreness will be most significant right after you first get your braces, lasting up to five days. In addition to the soreness, biting pressure may be too much for you. The solution is to eat soft foods only and use salt-water rinses for the soreness. If needed, you can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Irritation to the lips, cheeks, and tongue is also normal.

You now have hard metal braces in your mouth, and this is bound to cause irritation to the lips, cheeks, and tongue. This should be present for a week or two until the mouth adjusts to the presence of the braces. In the meantime, place dental wax on the spots causing irritation to help lessen he discomfort.

Your teeth will become looser.

The feeling of teeth being loose can be upsetting to adults and older teens. However, rest assured that this is normal when you have braces. Braces are designed to move the teeth, but teeth cannot move unless they become loose. Once treatment is over, retainers will be used to hold the teeth in place while they firm up in place.

Sometimes wires and bands will become loose.

This is extremely common. So common, in fact, that it is shocking if a patient never experiences a loose wire or band. So when it happens to you, do not panic. There are temporary fixes you can do at home and then you can come see us as soon as possible.

For a wire that is protruding, use the back of a spoon or the clean eraser end of a pencil to push it under the archwire. With a loose band, do what you can to prevent it from irritating you. Then, come see us as soon as possible at our Cane Bay or Summerville, SC locations. If any piece of the appliance comes off, save it and bring it to the appointment.

Brushing and flossing matter more than ever.

There is never a time when brushing and flossing are not important. However, when you have braces, these basic daily practices become even more vital. Braces provide bacteria more places to hide, resulting in cavities, gum disease, and staining if you fail to take proper care. Brush after every meal and floss twice a day. We will show you the right techniques at our office.

close up of Teen boy with braces having a orthodontic exam

You will need a special mouthguard if you play certain sports.

This includes contact sports as well as those where there is a risk of getting hit in the face with a ball. We can create special mouthguards that accommodate both the teeth and the braces, providing you with the protection you need. Do not use mouthguards you can purchase in stores when wearing braces, especially the boil and bite variety.


Questions? We’re here to help! Let us know what questions you may have and we will respond as soon as possible!

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