Eating with Braces
What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! If you’ve been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. 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
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
When you first get your braces on, your teeth may be tender when eating for three to five days. You can relieve this by rinsing your mouth vigorously with one teaspoon of salt dissolved in a cup of water. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for a headache or similar pain. Your lips, cheeks and tongue may become irritated until they toughen and get used to the braces. We will show you how to use orthodontic wax to cushion any spots that are especially bothering you.
During orthodontic treatment, you may notice that some of your teeth feel loose. Don’t worry! This is normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. Your teeth will become rigidly fixed in their new — corrected — positions.
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire, bracket or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If you have a wire sticking out and irritating your cheek, use the eraser end of a pencil to gently push the irritating wire in towards your tooth. If this doesn’t help, use wax or a piece of cotton to protect your cheek, and call our office. We’ll get you in as soon as possible. If you do have a bracket or band come loose, don’t throw it away — bring it in with you to your next appointment.
Care of Appliances
Successful treatment depends on the orthodontist and the patient working together. In order to achieve the desired results, the doctor may prescribe rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently follows the doctor’s instructions.
When you have braces, it’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly. You do need to brush after every meal. We will show you the proper technique to use in order to keep your braces clean and shiny. Meticulous oral hygiene will ensure that you have healthy teeth and gums when your treatment is finished.