Eating with Braces
What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. You’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
Use common sense when choosing food to put in your mouth and avoid chewing on hard objects such as pens and pencils.
Eating proper foods, minimizing sugar intake and getting enough sleep are essential during orthodontic treatment. Your braces are precise appliances that can be damaged by eating hard foods. Some soft and sticky foods can cause tooth decay and loosen or dislodge your braces.
Hard Foods to Avoid Include:
- Hard Candy
- Corn Chips
- Pizza Crust
- Corn on the Cob
- Jolly Ranchers
Soft Foods to Avoid Include:
- Bubble Gum
- Gum (as directed by your orthodontist)
- Sugar Daddies
- Tootsie Rolls
- Gummy Bears
- Other chewy candies
The higher the sugar, the higher the chance of tooth decay!
The Power of Sour!
Acid in candies can also be very harmful for your teeth! The lower the pH, the higher the risks for tooth decay. The longer the substance is in the mouth (slowly dissolving) the higher the risk!
Be sure to brush TWICE a day and floss regularly! Drink lots of water! Avoid candies and sugar that are harmful to your teeth.
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 your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. 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. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new corrected positions.
Care of Appliances
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
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 may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. If you would like a mouthguard, please talk to any member of our team. We provide mouthguards to our patients for $10. 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.
Dr. Perih is now a provider for Under Armour Performance Mouthgear. These are custom made for contact or non-contact sports.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If the 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. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our 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.
As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking out that you can’t take care of. It’s important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help when you phone the office to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place. For additional information please visit our emergency care page.