A General Guide to Your Life with Braces
What Can I Eat with Braces on?
For the first day or so, stick to soft foods, such as soup, noodles,
eggs, yogurt, grilled cheese, and mashed potatoes. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
Foods to Avoid
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
- Sticky foods: caramels, gum
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots. These can be cut into smaller pieces and eaten by biting on the back teeth.
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils, or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and your 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 needed, you can take a pain reliever or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. It is not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to also become irritated as they “toughen up” and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Wax can be used to cushion some of these areas to lessen the tenderness.. 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 your treatment plan, it is important that you work together with your orthodontic team. 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 during and after orthodontic treatment. The teeth move better in a healthier mouth and your orthodontic visits are also more comfortable. 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 may also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
If you do play sports, it is recommended that you wear a protective mouthguard to protect your teeth. Dr. Nakisher and her staff can help you find the mouthguard that is right for you while going through treatment. 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.