Eating with Braces and Other Appliances
What can you eat? 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 eat regular food again. But, as long as you’re wearing braces avoid hard or sticky foods.
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 may cause treatment to take longer.
When you get your braces placed, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for 3 to 5 days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water rinses. Dissolve 1 teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil (ibuprofen), or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for 1 to 2 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!
Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of 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.
Caring for Your Appliances
To successfully complete the necessary treatment, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears their appliances as prescribed. Damage to appliances may lengthen the treatment time.
It is more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces or orthodontic appliances, so the teeth and gums are healthy during, and after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning.
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 damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.