Braces are on…so now what?
It is very important that you understand how to care for your braces throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment.
Eating with your Braces
You may have been told that you may need to alter your eating habits while the braces are on. That may include some of your favorite foods. But don’t forget, braces are usually worn for a short period of time and it’s worth the sacrifice! You can still enjoy the foods that you crave, you just need to modify the way you eat them. However, some foods could damage your braces and you really need to avoid them altogether.
Foods to avoid:
- Chewy Foods, such as taffy, licorice and gummy bears.
- Crunchy Foods such as hard chips, popcorn, hard granola bars.
- Sticky Foods such as Starbursts and other candies.
- Hard Foods such as pizza crusts and bagels.
- Food that you have to bite into such as raw vegetables, harder fruit, and corn on the cob.
Foods that you CAN eat with your braces on:
- Dairy products, such as cheese, milk drinks, and pudding.
- Certain bread products, such as muffins, pancakes, cupcakes, and soft tortillas.
- Meats and poultry items, such as turkey, meatloaf, and soft prepared chicken.
- Grains, such as soft cooked rice and pasta.
- Vegetables and legumes, such as cooked broccoli, cooked spinach, mashed potatoes, and beans.
- Fish and seafood, such as salmon, crab and lobster, tuna, and scallops.
- Fruit and fruit related snacks, such as fruit juices, bananas, kiwi, and applesauce.
- Special treats, such as ice-cream, shakes, cakes, and pies.
Will there be some discomfort?
After you have your braces placed, your teeth may feel a little sore. This is very normal and it only lasts for a short time. If there is minor discomfort, you can use a pain reliever such as Tylenol to help take the edge off but know that the majority of patients will not require any medication.
You may have some minor irritations of the tongue, cheeks, and lips, for the first few weeks. Those will lessen over time but don’t worry, we’ll give some wax to get you over the adaptation period.
Teeth that feel loose
Sometimes your teeth will begin to feel a little mobile. Remember, braces move the teeth and bone to new positions and that requires them to loosen slightly. After your teeth are in their new positions you will find they firm up and feel more secure again.
Detached brackets, wires, and/or appliances
Brackets or wires can become loose during your treatment, but don’t panic as you can fix them temporarily until you can visit us again. For a wire that becomes dislodged from a bracket, you can gently push it back into place using some tweezers or your fingers. If the wire is pokey, use a tiny bit of the wax to cover the end of it until you can visit us for a repair.
If any parts do become detached, put them in a ziplock bag and save them. Bring them with you when you visit us to get it repaired. If you do have an issue, get in touch and arrange a visit as quickly as possible to get things back on track.
Wearing braces does not mean you need to stop playing sports. You do need to take some extra precautions to make sure that your lips and teeth are well protected. Know that orthodontic mouth guards are different from normal sports mouth guards. We do stock a selection of orthodontic friendly mouth guards, ask us about them on your next visit.
If you have a sports-related injury, remember to check your braces, teeth, cheeks, and lips for any damage. If you see any damage, please contact us immediately for a visit. If you have any discomfort, we encourage warm salt-water rinses and wax to protect the affected areas until your visit.