We're so glad you've decided to start your orthodontic treatment with braces, fix your smile, and get the smile you dream of.

We wanted to take this opportunity to help all patients get used to the idea of wearing braces and how to best act during your time in orthodontic care with traditional metal braces.

There's a bit of a learning curve, but we hope this guide will get you jumpstarted and used to your new orthodontic treatment with braces in Vista.

Dealing With Soreness

Patients shouldn't feel pain at all when they start wearing braces, but they will feel some discomfort and soreness as their teeth begin to move. This is completely normal and easy to manage.

  • Try saltwater rinses by dissolving one teaspoon of salt in about eight or seven ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle the solution for a few minutes and spit out the water.
  • You could also try over-the-counter pain relievers, but you should tell your orthodontist if you start feeling more pain or if the discomfort doesn't go away after a few days.
  • Ask us about orthodontic wax to cover brackets and the metal wire to avoid irritating the inside of your cheeks and lips.

Loose Teeth

Your braces move your teeth gradually, and you will feel as if your teeth are loose. There's nothing to fear, though, as this is the way you're supposed to feel initially. Once your teeth reach their intended position, we will use retainers to ensure everything stays in the right position.

Loose Wires, Bands, & Brackets

During your treatment, you might feel that your archwire comes loose. Some patients also notice one of their elastic bands pop off, and in some cases, patients eat something that makes their brackets become loose.

These are cases of orthodontic emergencies -situations where your orthodontic appliance suffers damage, but you don't suffer fatal damage-. In these situations, you should get in touch with us for more information regarding DIY solutions and how to fix the problem in your next visit to the orthodontist.


Life with Braces Vista

How to Care for Your Braces?

It's essential that you take good care of your braces and follow our recommendations to avoid emergencies that only delay your treatment. This includes making some changes in the foods and drinks you choose for regular consumption and wearing your rubber bands or other attachments exactly as prescribed by your orthodontist.

Brushing Your Teeth With Braces

We know that this is one of the most challenging parts of starting your treatment with braces, as you'll have to work your way around brackets and wires to get any food debris out of your mouth.

The best thing we can recommend is that, if you want to make things easier, you should buy interdental brushes to complement your oral hygiene routine. To avoid damaging your braces, worsening any feelings of soreness and tooth sensitivity, and the negative effects of tooth decay, we recommend the following:

  • Choose a fluoride toothpaste that's ADA-approved to protect your teeth and keep them strong.
  • Get a soft, rounded-bristle toothbrush that won't damage or displace any brackets or archwire.
  • Replace your toothbrush often, as it will get damaged from brushing around brackets.
  • Continue using dental floss daily, and get an interdental brush, floss threader, or water irrigator to make up for the difficulty in using dental floss.
Modern black and white sonic or electric whitening toothbrush se
Oral hygiene, bathroom objects concept. Mouth teeth cleaning irrigator modern tool on sink.

What Can You Eat With Braces

Regrettably, one of the main changes you'll notice while wearing braces is that you cannot eat some foods with the same freedom. It's not that we're enforcing some type of diet; instead, it's more a matter of avoiding foods that can damage your braces or increase the risk of suffering tooth decay.

Foods You Can Eat

  • Dairy Products - pudding, milk, soft cheese.
  • Bread - soft flour tortillas, waffles, cake, pancakes.
  • Grains - any type of pasta, rice.
  • Meat - chicken, meatballs.
  • Fruits - bananas, oranges, grapes, kiwi.
  • Vegetables - mashed potatoes, lettuce and other greens, steamed vegetables, and beans.
  • Seafood - flaky fish meat, crab meat, cooked shrimp.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods — bagels, taffy, and licorice, and chewing gum.
  • Crunchy foods — hard taco shells, popcorn, hard candies, and nuts.
  • Foods that require biting into — apples, carrots, corn on the cob.

Playing Musical Instruments and Sports

You won't have to pause your daily activities, hobbies, or career as an athlete or accomplished musician while you wear braces. However, you should be careful and ask your orthodontist about wearing a mouthguard to avoid physical damage to your teeth.

Dentist trying on mouthguard for man patient

If you have an accident during your sports routine or while playing a match, especially if you practice contact sports, you should stop and check both your appliance and mouth. Let us know if there's any bleeding or damage that requires attention.