Eating With Braces
Your braces have many small pieces that are made to be very durable, however, certain foods can still potentially damage your braces or easily stick under the wires and brackets. Braces are only temporary, so it’s best to just avoid these foods during treatment to prevent any setbacks, discomfort, or extra trips to our office caused by food-related damage.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy Foods: Foods that require you to tear with your teeth such as bagels, hard rolls, or beef jerky
- Crunchy Foods: Popcorn, chips, hard taco shells, uncooked veggies
- Sticky Foods: Caramel candies, gummy bears, chewing gum (sugar-free gum is okay!)
- Hard Foods: Ice, nuts, hard candies such as Jolly Ranchers or lollipops
- Foods That Require Biting Into: Corn on the cob, apples, uncooked carrots
Foods You Can Enjoy
- Mashed potatoes
- Meats with no bones
- Soft or cooked veggies
- Dairy products
- Soft bread and sandwiches
- Pizza (careful with the crust!)
Caring For Your Appliances
Damage to your appliances can not only be uncomfortable for you, but it could also result in extra trips to our office and potential delays in treatment if not handled properly. Each piece of your appliance is required for them to properly do their job, so it’s very important to take care of your braces during treatment!
When you have braces, 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.
Do I Need To See My General Dentist While Wearing Braces?
Your teeth are especially vulnerable to hygiene-related issues while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. While wearing braces, you should still visit your general dentist for check-ups and cleanings once every six months. These appointments should be made in addition to appointments with your orthodontist for adjustments of your braces.
Do Braces Hurt?
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise this will not last very long! Your mouth simply needs some time to adjust to your new appliance. To relieve any irritation, 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 consistent 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!
How Long Will I Wear Braces?
Patients tend to wear braces for an average of 12-24 months. However, the treatment time will vary depending on the severity of your case, the amount of work or tooth movement necessary, and how well you follow instructions during treatment.