Eating with Braces
What can you eat? For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough foods, hard breads, and raw vegetables. You’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.
Foods to Avoid
The rule of thumb is to avoid anything that is CHEWY, CRUNCHY and STICKY because they tend to damage brackets and wires. Repeated appliance breakage will delay treatment progress and lengthen your overall treatment time. Some examples of foods to avoid:
- Chewy foods: bagels, licorice, hard breads
- Crunchy foods: ice, chips, pretzels, nuts, hard candy
- Sticky foods: caramel, taffy, chewing gum
- Avoid biting into the following directly: corn on the cob, apples, raw vegetables (cut them into small pieces instead)
- Chewing on hard items (like pens, pencils or fingernails) can also damage the braces
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 the tenderness is severe, take ibuprofen or whatever you normally take for headaches 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 or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances are damaged, contact us at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.