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Life With Braces

Life With Braces

Getting used to life with braces can take a little time! If you follow these tips and make healthy choices, wearing braces will be a breeze, and before you know it, you’ll be showing off a brand-new smile.

Discomfort and Soreness

When you first get your expander or braces put on, and when your braces are adjusted, you may feel some soreness. This is normal and a sign that your mouth is starting to get used to an appliance. You can use a simple home remedy that will help: Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water, then swish the salt water mixture around in your mouth and gargle. Spit it out and repeat several times a day until the discomfort is gone.

Sometimes, your cheeks, gums, and tongue may become sore when you first get your braces on. Your orthodontist will give you wax that you can place over the part of the braces that is causing discomfort. If your pain is bothering you, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Your teeth may seem a bit loose and even wiggle a bit once your braces are on. This is exactly what is supposed to happen—in order for your teeth to be moved to the proper position during treatment, they will have to loosen just a little.
Also be aware that with an expander, you may salivate a bit more than you normally do, since your mouth may think that your appliance is food. That’s likely to end in just a few days.

Loose Wires and Elastics

Sometimes, the wires that bind the braces together or the elastics will become loose. If this happens, call Dr. Gutiérrez’s office right away so that we can have you come in and get your wires fixed. Sometimes, a bracket will dislodge and that may have to be repaired before it’s put back in your mouth. If the loose wires are bothering your mouth, cheek, or gums, try putting some wax over it to cover it until you come into our office.

Braces and Sports

So many kids (and adults) who come into our office enjoy playing sports but are concerned that wearing braces with cause a problem with their activity. You CAN wear braces and play sports—even contact sports. However, we suggest wearing a mouthguard during this time so that your braces and teeth won’t be harmed during play.

Eating and Drinking

By far, this is the most asked question that we get! Everyone wants to know what they can and cannot eat and drink while they’re wearing braces. We have good news: you can eat and enjoy almost everything. However, you should avoid certain foods:

  • Sticky and chewy foods like fruit gummies, gum, taffy, caramel candy, and bagels.
  • Crunchy, hard foods like popcorn, nuts, and hard candy. You should also avoid foods like apples, corn, peaches, and pears because biting into them could damage your braces.
  • You can drink nearly everything, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t drink too many things with sugar, like soda, to ensure that you’ll be able to keep your teeth clean.

You can eat:

  • Meat products, like ground meat and chicken
  • Most breads, including pancakes and muffins
  • Seafood like tuna, and salmon
  • Rice, pasta, and cereal without nuts
  • Soft cheese and pudding
  • Softer fruits such as bananas
  • Desserts like milkshakes and ice cream

If you have any questions about the care of your braces, call Dr. Gutiérrez’s office and we’ll assist you.

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Our Locations

North Tampa

  • 1303 W. Fletcher Ave
    Tampa, FL 33612

  • 813-968-1611
  • Hours Of Operation:

    Monday: 9am - 7pm
    Tuesday-Thursday: 8am - 5pm
    Friday: By Appointment

South Tampa

  • 3302 W. Azeele St.
    Tampa, FL 33609

  • 813-968-1611
  • Hours Of Operation:

    Monday: 9am - 7pm
    Tuesday-Thursday: 8am - 5pm
    Friday: By Appointment