Life With Braces

West Des Moines, Iowa’s Favorite Orthodontist

As with any big change, having braces will require a lifestyle adjustment. From what you eat to how you brush, certain habits must be formed to ensure a pleasant and shorter treatment process. Read on to learn how you can prepare for your new life with braces, and eventually a life with your new smile!

Brushing and Flossing

It is essential to your dental health to brush after every meal. With braces, toothbrush and ruff on white table. is also typically necessary to use an interdental toothbrush to help clean between the brackets and under the wire. This space is prone to collecting food and bacteria, so you will want to pay special attention and provide extra care to these spots. Additionally, rinsing vigorously with a mouth rinse will help flush out any missed or impossible to see particles. Taking care of your appliance will ensure a healthier and happier smile when the braces finally come off!

Foods to Avoid

To ensure the shortest possible treatment time, it is necessary to avoid certain foods. The food listed below will often cause damage to your appliance, resulting in a lengthier treatment.

  • Chewy Foods – Bagels, Hard Rolls, Licorice
  • Crunchy Foods – Popcorn, Ice, Crunchy Cereal, Apples
  • Sticky Foods – Caramels, Gum, Taffy
  • Hard Foods – Nuts, Hard Candies, Carrots

Fresh green apple wedges - studio shot
While there are certain foods you have to avoid whole – such as apples or corn on the cob, cutting these foods into bite-size pieces or cooking them until they are soft will allow you to keep them in your diet. Additionally, you want to avoid chewing on things like pens or pencils or biting your nails as these habits can damage your appliance as well.

Soreness After Adjustments and Loose Teeth

Young guy in white t-shirt checking teeth in mirrorAfter an adjustment, you may feel general soreness or tenderness when biting for up to 5 days. During this time period, it is suggested you limit your diet to softer foods (such as eggs, potatoes, and smoothies) and take Tylenol or Advil to help with the discomfort. When you initially get your braces on, your lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated as you adjust to living day-to-day with braces. You will be provided wax to place over the braces in areas that are more affected.

Additionally, you should expect your teeth to feel loose or wiggly. This is a normal part of the process. Your teeth must because loose in order to move them into their correct placement. Once they are in their final position, the gums around the teeth will heal and hold them firmly in place.

Playing an Instrument and Playing Sports

Boy putting in his mouth guard If you play an instrument, you don’t need special mouth pieces or mouth guard to effectively play music. As you adjust to the braces, you will be able to play as naturally as you did without them. Proper placement of wax will also help as you adjust.

Additionally, when playing sports, it is essential to wear a mouth guard whether or not you have braces. However, it is absolutely crucial to wear a brace-ready mouth guard to not only protect your mouth, but to protect your braces as well. Damage to either can prolong treatment if not properly protected. Be sure to let us know if you are an active patient!


Start Your Best Smile Journey!

Dr. Stork understands the importance of a smile you can share with confidence. Additionally, he wants you to feel confident with your decision for your journey to your best smile ever. Here are a few ways to get started:

  1. Instantly Download Dr. Stork’s free report: Top 10 Things You Should to Know About Choosing An Orthodontist.
  2. Call 515-225-4310 to schedule you or your child’s Stork Smile Assessment. This first appointment is completely FREE of charge!
  3. Submit your questions online via our online contact form, or call 515-225-4310.

Top 10 Things You Should Know About Choosing A West Des Moines Iowa Orthodontist
You should do your research before choosing a West Des Moines, Iowa orthodontist. Ultimately you should feel comfortable with the treatment and your orthodontist. This report will guide you in some things that you should look for when choosing your West Des Moines orthodontist.

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