Roseburg Office
1729 W Harvard Ave. Suite 3
Roseburg, OR 97471
(541) 673-0924

MAPRoseburg Office

Coos Bay Office
375 Park Ave.
Suite 7
Coos Bay, OR 97420
(541) 267-3060

MAPCoos Bay Office

Life with Braces

life with braces

Eating with Braces

You should not have any trouble eating with braces, but there are a few foods you need to avoid:

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: crusty or tough bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: ice, hard pretzels
  • Sticky foods: caramels, taffy, sugared-bubble gum
  • Hard foods: nuts; hard, sticky candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots (however, these can be cut into pieces and eaten!)
  • Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces.

Eating these foods or chewing on these things will loosen or damage your braces. Loose braces and broken wires cause a longer time in treatment because appointments are spent repairing things rather than making progress! As a reward for not eating these problem foods, patients can earn wooden nickels for not having any loose or broken braces. The tokens can then be saved up and cashed in for prizes or gift cards to various local stores.

General Soreness

Most patients will have some tenderness to biting pressure for two to three days after the braces are put on and after each adjustment appointment. This varies from patient to patient, as everyone's pain tolerance is different--so remember this when your friends are telling you about their experience! You may find it not to be so uncomfortable. If you do have considerable discomfort, take whatever you normally would take for a headache. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. You can also relieve the discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water rinses. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously.

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new — corrected — positions.

Loose Wire or Band

Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (such as the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. (Check out "First Aid" on our web site) If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

Brushing and Flossing

It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. They may also put themselves at greater risk of developing tooth decay or gingivitis. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. We will give you thorough instructions on how to brush and floss your teeth along with a lot of great gadgets to help keep your teeth clean. We also reward patients with good oral hygiene with our Wooden Nickel program. Wooden nickels are earned every time you come in with clean teeth and these tokens can be turned in for a gift card or prize of your choice.

Brushing: Step 1

Using a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste place bristles where gums and teeth meet.

Brushing: Step 2

For 10 seconds on each tooth use circular, vibrating motions around the gum lines.

Brushing: Step 3

Every tooth of both arches should be brushed slowly.

Brushing: Step 4

Brush the lower teeth from the gum line up and the upper teeth from the gum line down. Brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue too!

Flossing: Step 1

Carefully thread unwaxed floss between braces and wire. You may find a floss threader helpful.

Flossing: Step 2

Carefully floss around the braces.

Flossing: Step 3

Carefully floss around the gum areas.

Flossing: Step 4

Carefully floss around each tooth.

Fluoride Mouth Rinse

We recommend using a daily fluoride mouth rinse during orthodontic treatment to help prevent cavities and permanent white spots (decalcification) on your teeth. Patients with any type of orthodontic appliance should rinse with a fluoride rinse for 1 minute prior to bedtime every day. We will make recommendations at your first appliance placement appointment.

Sports and Mouth guards

Let us know if you play any contact sports that require a mouth guard. We will give you a mouth guard that fits around your braces. A mouth guard will help protect your lips, braces, teeth and jaws. If your teeth or any part of your braces or orthodontic appliances becomes loose or broken from playing a sport, please call our office and we will advise you what to do.

Regular Dental Visits

While wearing your orthodontic appliances it is very important to continue seeing your family dentist at regular intervals for a thorough examination and cleaning of your teeth. Your family dentist is an important partner in the orthodontic process and these periodic examinations will ensure your continued dental health.

Emergency Care

Dr. LeMert can be reached 24 hours a day for any dental emergency by calling the office at (541) 673-0924. If you require help after office hours, you will be directed to call Dr. LeMert on their cell phone. Please be aware that an emergency is considered anything that causes you pain or extreme discomfort that cannot be relieved by yourself until you can come in during business hours. Check out "First Aid" on our web page. We do ask that you call our office if you have anything loose or broken so that we can address it in a timely manner. It's a good idea to become familiar with the names of the parts of your appliance so that you can communicate it more effectively with our office and we can address the problem appropriately. Check out the appliance diagram on our web page.

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