Life with Braces

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 during orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment. Watch the two videos below on the proper care of braces during orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

For the first few days, eat only soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, raw vegetables, and anything that is sticky or chewy. We ask our patients to lower their sugar intake, to include sodas. This will help with your braces and the overall health of your gums and teeth. In order to protect your braces, avoid the following foods:

  • Chewy/Sticky Foods: Licorice, Gummy Bears, Now-or-Laters, Taffy, Gum
  • Crunchy Foods: Popcorn, Ice, Hard Chips
  • Hard Foods: Nuts, Jolly Ranchers, Hard Candy, Bread with Hard Crusts
  • Foods You Have to Bite Into: Corn on the Cob, Apples, Carrots

Cut these into SMALL pieces and eat carefully
These foods can break your brackets off your teeth, potentially lengthening your treatment time.

Your Appointments

Following your initial appointments, we will see you every four to six weeks for your orthodontic adjustments. These appointments generally take 20-30 minutes with a longer appointment sporadically throughout treatment. We make every effort to be on time for our patients and ask that you extend the same courtesy to us. If you cannot keep an appointment, please notify our office at your earliest opportunity. If you have to cancel, we will do everything we can to reschedule your appointment as soon as possible.

Patient Cooperation

Orthodontics is a patient/doctor relationship. Dr. Pulsipher promises to give you the best possible result, yet he can only do so with your cooperation. We ask that you regularly brush and floss your teeth as instructed while avoiding foods that could damage your braces. Additionally, should you need to wear elastics (rubber bands), headgear, or any removable appliances (these are worn to move the jaws and teeth to their optimal position), you will need to do so according to Dr. Pulsipher’s instructions.

Athletics

If you play sports, it is important that you consult our office for special precautions. A protective mouth-guard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and your braces immediately. If the teeth are loosened or your braces are damaged, call our office immediately to make an appointment. If it is a serious emergency, call our office and should our answering machine answer, there will be a number in which to contact Dr. Pulsipher.

Emergency Appointments

Do not be alarmed if a wire or a band becomes loose this happens occasionally. If a wire is protruding and irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of a utensil) and carefully push the irritating wire under the bracket. Simply get it out of the way to alleviate the irritation. If the discomfort continues, place wax on the wire to reduce the annoyance until you can call our office. During office hours, we will see you that very day to get you comfortable. If time permits, we will fix a broken band or bracket. If not, we will remove the broken piece and schedule another appointment to re-bond the broken piece.