Life With Braces

Can I Play Sports?

What do I need to look out for while playing sports and wearing braces?

Many people who get braces are concerned about how they will affect the ability to play sports. Fortunately, it is possible to play contact sports with braces if the proper precautions are taken.

Physical Contact with Players

The main thing to look out for is physical contact with other players. Although this is unavoidable in some sports, extra efforts should be made to protect the face and mouth. Even mild contact with the face at the wrong angle can cause damage to the braces or injuries in the mouth. The best solution is to wear a fitted mouth guard and to wear a helmet that protects the face whenever possible.

Clenching Teeth

It is natural for some people to clench the teeth when playing sports. This habit should be avoided at all times when wearing braces. Clenching can cause the teeth to rub together and wear down quickly. Players should consciously attempt to avoid clenching the teeth at all times.

Food and Braces

What can and can’t I eat while wearing braces and how should I maintain good hygiene while wearing my braces?

After an orthodontist places braces on a person’s teeth, it is important to practice proper eating and oral hygiene habits that will ensure they get the most out of the orthodontic procedure. Although a person will be able to eat normally following the placement of braces, there are certain foods that should be avoided so that they do not break the brackets or wires. Additionally, proper tooth brushing and flossing will help to prevent decay while maintaining a person’s bright smile. Here are the top tips for caring for braces that will lead to optimum results for improving a person’s smile.

Avoid Sticky Foods and Soft Drinks

An orthodontist will often provide a list of prohibited foods that can cause problems for those wearing braces. On this list, a person will find that most sticky or chewy foods, such as caramel and gummy candy, are important to avoid. Chewing gum is among these sticky foods that could cause a bracket or wire to become displaced. Hard foods, such as nuts and popcorn, should also be avoided.

Eat Soft Foods After Visits

Following an orthodontic procedure, such as a routine wire change, a person may experience some soreness that can last for a few hours. During these periods of sensitivity, it may be helpful to stick to a soft diet that will reduce the pressure placed upon a person’s teeth. Pudding, mashed potatoes and applesauce are a few favorites among orthodontic patients. However, a normal diet can be reinstated once the soreness passes.

Practice Proper Oral Hygiene

In addition to avoiding certain foods, a person should implement good oral hygiene procedures throughout the time they have braces. Everyone should brush their teeth after meals; however, those with braces may need to take extra precautions to ensure that all food is removed. Interdental brushes are one type of oral hygiene tool that can be used to get food out of the space between the braces and teeth. Water flossing units can also be used to flush food particles out of the gums where it may be hard to floss.

Braces are an ideal way for a person to improve their smile through straightening their teeth and changing their bite. It is important to be cautious regarding foods and actions that can damage one’s braces. By avoiding sticky foods and making sure to brush and floss daily, a person can ensure their teeth will be beautiful on the day their braces are removed.

Discomfort Care

What do I do when I experience discomfort with my braces?

We promise to give you a discomfort contact number in case you need our help.  There are not many orthodontic needs after hours, however we have a comfort line available to assist any after hour discomfort you or your child may have.

Don’t panic. Use these suggestions if you experience these discomforts. If you cannot get relief from these suggestions simply call us on our Discomfort Contact Number and we will assist you.

Poking Wire— This can be taken care of by using a soft pillow of wax that will wrap around the pokey part until we can clip it.

Loose Bracket or Band—If a bracket is loose and sliding on the wire please call us during normal hours to lengthen the time of your next appointment to allow time to repair. As long as you are not in any discomfort we can wait till your next appointment to repair.

Loose Wire—A loose wire can be put back into the tube with a pair of tweezers, if this cannot be accomplished you can tuck the wire above the bracket and place wax around it.

Loose Appliance—if an appliance is loose please call us to get a time to repair and make sure you are staying clear of sticky foods that could pull it out.

General Soreness—This is to be expected when braces first go on, or after an archwire change. Tylenol, Advil, or whatever you would take for a fever or headache can help alleviate the soreness. Softer foods are the best idea to help you through the initial placement.

Gums are Red, Puffy, or Bleed When Brushing— Gums that are red and puffy are mad because they have not been brushed in a while! Please brush in circular motions to stimulate the gum tissue to make them healthy again. If they bleed when you are brushing them do not stop, the more you brush them the healthier they will get.


The Importance of Wearing a Retainer

Wearing a retainer after the braces have been removed is extremely important. Failing to wear a retainer to preserve the cosmetic and health benefits that wearing braces can produce is a huge mistake. Without the restraining influence of a plastic or metal retainer, a patient’s teeth are likely to move into a crooked or misaligned condition.

The Purpose of a Retainer

A custom made retainer will ensure that a patient’s teeth and mouth remain properly aligned. The length of time that a retainer must be worn will vary from patient to patient. After a set of braces has been removed, the pressure exerted by a growing body can cause a set of beautiful straight teeth to return to their crooked ways. An orthodontist will recommend that a retainer be worn for a prescribed period of time and a certain number of hours at night. The retainer controls the natural shifting that occurs after the braces have been removed.

Retainers for other conditions

Some dental conditions can be corrected without braces. A retainer may be sufficient to close the gap between two or more teeth. This may necessitate the use of a retainer for several years. Even after a gap has been closed, however, it may still be necessary to wear a retainer to prevent the gap from reappearing. Other conditions that can be corrected with a retainer include tongue thrusts, a serious misalignment that allows the tongue to slip between a patient’s teeth while they are talking, temporomandibular disorder (TMD), and other bite problems.


Our mission is to provide every patient with an excellent orthodontic experience. We look forward to providing you “More Than a Great Smile!"

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7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
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Our hours vary daily to offer a greater range of flexibility for our patients.
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Our Location

Maple Orthodontics
260 Market St Suite E,
New Albany, OH 43054
(614) 775-1000

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