Eating with Braces
During your entire orthodontic treatment, it is extremely important to avoid any foods that could damage your appliances. Don’t worry! There are plenty of your favorite foods and snacks that you can continue eating with braces. Once you have your braces, avoid foods that are very hard, sticky, chewy, or crunchy. During your appointment, we will provide you with all the information so you can ensure that you know which foods to eat and which foods to avoid with braces.
Foods to Avoid with Braces
- Chewy foods – bagels, licorice, beef jerky
- 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, whole 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
Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances
When you first get your braces, your teeth and mouth might feel a little sore. This is normal. A mild saltwater solution of one teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of lukewarm water can relieve the pain. Swish and gargle (do not swallow) the saltwater solution for a couple of minutes. An over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, can also help relieve the pain.
Your mouth may feel different because it is still getting used to having braces. During the first one or two weeks after getting braces, your lips, cheeks, and tongue can become irritated as they get used to the new appliances that are in your mouth. Wax can be applied to the braces to reduce the tenderness. Initially, some patients find it difficult to talk normally, but this issue typically resolves after just a few days.
It is also normal to have loose teeth — it is a prerequisite for tooth movement. Your teeth will no longer be loose once they are in their proper position.
Loose Wires and Bands
If the wires and bands come loose, please contact our office as soon as possible so that we can resolve this issue and repair your appliance. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If any piece of your appliance comes off, please be sure to save it and bring it with you to your appointment.
A loose wire can be temporarily fixed by using the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser to push the wire back into position gently. Wax or a wet cotton ball can be placed over the broken wire if you are experiencing any pain or irritation.
Taking Care of Your Appliances
Appliances that are working properly are essential to a successful treatment process. It is extremely important that you know how to take care of your appliances and follow your orthodontist’s instructions, such as consistently wearing your headgear, rubber bands, retainer, and other appliances.
Playing Sports with Braces
If you participate in sports, consider wearing a mouthguard to prevent damage. If you notice a loose wire or bracket, contact us to replace it quickly and keep your teeth on track.
Immediately check your mouth and appliance for any sign of damage in the case of a sports emergency. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. Applying wax or rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater solution can ease the discomfort.
Taking Care of Your Teeth
It is important to keep up with proper oral hygiene habits. Improper care can lead to short- and long-term consequences such as a longer orthodontic treatment process or the development of cavities or gum disease. A consistent oral hygiene routine and wearing your appliances as directed will be key while caring for your braces.
Life with Braces
During your adjustment appointments, we will check in to make sure that you are on track with your treatment plan. Our team is happy to answer any questions you have about your orthodontic care.