Life with Braces
Now that you have braces, it is important that you take especially good care of them and your teeth. By brushing and flossing regularly, you’ll keep your teeth and gums in top condition and ensure that your orthodontic treatment will deliver the healthiest smile possible. When your braces come off, you’ll see that your extra efforts have been rewarded with a healthy, great-looking smile that’s good for life.
Eating with Braces
Although there are many factors that determine how long you have to wear braces (case difficulty, rate of tooth movement through bone, adequate nutrition, etc.) the most frequent complication that prolongs orthodontic treatment is loose or broken brackets and wires. Most patients progress throughout treatment without any broken appliances. Unfortunately a loose bracket or broken wire that goes unnoticed can delay treatment for 3-6 months. Inspecting your braces after every meal and notifying your orthodontic staff of any broken appliances immediately will keep you on time to finish your treatment. Hard, crunchy, crusty, or sticky foods are most frequently responsible for breaking appliances, however, improper brushing technique or oral habits like biting on pens, pencils, sewing needles, etc can do almost as much damage.
Foods to Avoid While You Have Braces
In addition to the following list of no-no foods, please be aware that you must eat foods differently when you have braces. Instead of biting into sandwiches, apples, carrots, or pizza with your front teeth you must force yourself to cut or tear your food apart and place it onto your back teeth for chewing. The following list is not all-inclusive, so if you are not sure whether or not you should eat a particular food please use a little common sense and avoid it.
|Ice||Potato Chips||Pizza Crusts||Caramels|
|Nuts- Peanuts, Almonds||Tortilla Chips||Toasted Bagels/Breads||Chewing Gum|
|Jolly Rancher Candies||Fried Chicken||Apples with Front Teeth||Starburst|
|Pens and Pencils||Fried Oysters||Fresh Carrots||Sugar Daddies|
|Snickers or similar||Pretzels||Kaiser Dinner Rolls||Jelly Beans|
|Corn on the Cob||Hard Taco Shells||Popcorn||Licorice|
Beverages to Avoid While You Have Braces
High sugar or acidic drinks can cause cavities anytime, especially when they have braces to stick onto. Avoid all soda pop (Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Big Red, etc), juices (Hi-C, Sunny-D, Kool-Aid, etc), and teas to prevent permanent scarring of your enamel.
What to do with tenderness caused from braces and appliances?
With modern technology including space age materials used in orthodontic treatment, most patients experience very limited discomfort usually the first days after initial braces placement and occasionally after an adjustment appointment. This mild discomfort usually can be improved significantly with over the counter pain medication.
It is not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to take up to two weeks to get used to the braces. Quick relief can be accomplished by pinching off a small amount of wax from your home care kit, roll it into a ball shape and apply it onto the part of the appliance that is causing the irritation. This will acts as a bumper to provide initial comfort. Drying the area with a small cotton ball or tissue paper may help the wax to stay on better.
Teeth with mild mobility during orthodontic treatment
It is normal for your teeth to feel a little loose during orthodontic treatment. This usual biological process is needed for your teeth to move into their new position. Once your teeth are repositioned and stabilized in that new position, they will gradually tighten and be back to normal.
Can I still play sports?
Yes. Mouthguard wear is strongly recommended with all contact sports during active orthodontic treatment. Our office provides mouthguards specially designed to protect your teeth and braces. In case of a sports emergency that has caused your teeth to feel looser than usual and /or damage any of your appliance, please contact our office right away. Use the wax for temporary relief of the irritation from any loose appliance if needed.