Life With Braces

Eating with Braces
What can you eat with braces? The list isn’t as short as you may think! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to eat your favorite foods again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces. Cutting hard foods in to small pieces will help care for your braces.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, gummy candies
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, hard rolls
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, lollipops, sucking candies
  • Foods you have to bite into: apples, carrots, corn on the cob
  • Chewing on hard things (for example, pencils, pens or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

General Soreness
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse. If the tenderness is pronounced, take Advil or whatever you normally take for headache or similar discomfort. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Place wax on the braces to lessen this.

Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must first loosen so they can move. The teeth will return to as they were in their new, corrected, positions.

Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire to simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax on the wire to reduce any discomfort. Call the office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean will require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see their dentist or periodontist every three months during orthodontic treatment.

If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us. A protective mouth guard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.