Life with Braces

Enjoy State-of-the-Art Orthodontic Treatment with Bowen Orthodontics

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It’s important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your entire orthodontic treatment. Dr. Bowen has put together some information and tips to help you navigate your orthodontic journey. Choose one of the options below or simply scroll further down the page to learn more!

  • braces in rolla mo what to expect with braces
  • braces in rolla mo eating with braces
  • braces in rolla mo oral hygiene with braces
  • braces in rolla mo take care of your braces
  • braces in rolla mo retainer instructions

What to Expect with Braces

Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances

orthodontist rolla st robert mo what to expect with bracesWhen you first get your braces in Rolla, MO or St. Robert, MO, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don’t worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

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Eating with Braces

orthodontist rolla st robert mo eating with bracesDon’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

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Oral Hygiene with Braces

Brushing Instructions

orthodontist rolla mo oral hygiene with bracesBrush your teeth for two minutes after every meal with a soft-bristled, small-headed toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. As an alternative, you can use a powered toothbrush to increase your brushing effectiveness. Brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth using small, gentle, circular motions while positioning the head of the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Brush your teeth’s chewing surfaces and the inside surface of your front teeth using short, gentle, back-and-forth motions. Pay close attention to the areas around your brackets or other appliances.

Flossing Instructions

Flossing after every meal will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which will also help keep your treatment time on track. To floss with braces, use a floss threader or special orthodontic floss to thread the floss behind each wire. Wrap the ends of the floss around your pointer fingers of both hands, leaving a few inches of taught floss between them. Gently slide the floss between each set of teeth using a back and forth motion. Floss the sides of each tooth beneath the gum line to remove plaque and food particles. Repeat this process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth. If you find that your floss is not removing all of the food particles between your teeth and around your braces, ask us about a water flosser!

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Take Care of Your Appliances

orthodontist rolla mo take care of your appliancesDamaged braces can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by our St. Robert or Rolla, MO, orthodontist.

Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it’s recommended that you wear a custom mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let Dr. Bowen know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.

When you have braces in St. Robert or Rolla, it’s very important to brush and floss after every meal in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment. If you need help choosing the right toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, please ask us and we can help you choose the right products for your teeth and your appliance.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

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Retainer Instructions

orthodontist rolla st robert mo offers retainer instructions

  • Wear your retainer at all times, until Dr. Bowen instructs otherwise.
  • Take your retainer out when eating, and always put it back in its case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunchrooms or restaurants.)
  • Clean the retainer thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent® or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used but do not take the place of brushing.
  • When your retainer is not in your mouth, it should ALWAYS be in its case. Pets love to chew on them!
  • Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to it faster.
  • Retainers are breakable, so treat yours with care. If your retainer gets lost or broken, call us immediately.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your retainer, or you believe it needs adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust it yourself.
  • Always bring your retainer to your appointments.
  • Retainer replacements are expensive, but with proper care they will last for years!
  • Remove your retainer when you go swimming.
  • Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

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Orthodontist Dr. Thomas Bowen Provides 5-Star-Rated Orthodontic Treatment, Including Invisalign, Clear Braces and Metal Braces in Rolla, MO & St. Robert, MO – Serving Rolla, Cuba, Salem, St. James, St. Robert, Waynesville, Owensville, Licking & Sullivan, MO

5-Star-Rated Rolla, MO & St. Robert, MO, Orthodontist
for Braces & Invisalign
"Very friendly and accommodating staff. I highly recommend Dr. Bowen for your orthodontic care!!"- Chelsea H. 5 star
"Whether you're talking to Kelsey on the phone or receiving treatment from Dr. Bowen himself, this dental practice is full of talented and friendly people eager to help. I especially recommend their services to anyone who gets anxious in the dental chair — they'll put you right at ease!"- Rob T. 5 star
"I had a wonderful experience at Bowen orthodontics! The ladies in front and back will make you feel right at home. Dr Bowen was great about going over treatment options and answering any questions before leaving. I am very confident in choosing Bowen orthodontics and would highly recommend them to anyone!"- James P. 5 star
“I highly recommend Dr. Bowen and his team! They are highly trained, extremely professional, and we could not be more happy with our son's smile:-)“ - Tamara G. 5 star
"Dr. Bowen and staff have been great! He has been excellent throughout the transition this past year from Dr. H and has continued to enhance care and communication with us during the transition. Highly recommended!"- Craig S. 5 star
*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Bowen Orthodontics. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
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573.364.0700
Rolla, MO, Orthodontic Office

507 E. 10th St. Rolla, MO 65401

St. Robert, MO, Orthodontic Office

571 VFW Memorial Dr A, St Robert, MO 65584

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Our 5-star rated Rolla, MO, orthodontist and St. Robert, MO, orthodontist offers the most advanced braces for children, braces for teens and braces for adults. Our treatment options include braces, metal braces, clear braces, Invisalign, early orthodontic treatment for children and emergency orthodontic care.
Call 573.364.0700 today to schedule your appointment with our Rolla, MO orthodontist or our St. Robert, MO, orthodontist at our conveniently located orthodontic offices.
Come experience Bowen Orthodontics! You will see that our Rolla, MO, orthodontist and St. Robert, MO, orthodontist offers innovative and effective braces in Rolla, MO, St. Robert, MO, Cuba, MO, Salem, MO, St. James, MO, Waynesville, MO, Owensville, MO, Licking, MO and Sullivan, MO.
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