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 your perfect opportunity. For the first day or so, you should ideally stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a carrots and apples again, though it’s best to cut these up first. 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.

General Soreness

When you have your braces fitted, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days, this is to be expected and is normal. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. You can dissolve one tsp of salt in 8 oz 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. Your lips, cheeks and tongue can also become irritated for 1 – 2 weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. This will be demonstrated.

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment and is required to re-align teeth. It is not a cause for concern – it is a planned and controlled process. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their newly corrected and desired positions. 

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete the full duration of a treatment plan, the patient must work 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 will extend the duration of treatment. 

Brushing

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces fitted, so the teeth and gums stay healthy throughout and following orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning and may experience permanent staining around the brackets cemented area. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist over the course of their orthodontic treatment. 

Retainer Instructions

Wear your retainers full time, until the advised by your dentist

Take your retainers out when eating and always put retainers in their case, this is important as most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants

Clean retainers fully on a daily basis using a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. If you wish to soak the retainer, we recommend Retainer Brite or Aqua Blast, which can be found in your local store or ordered online.

When retainers are not in your mouth they should always be in a retainer case for safe keeping.

Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to the appliance quicker.

Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us right away.

If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try adjusting them yourself.

Always bring your retainers to your appointments.

Retainer replacement is expensive… with proper care they will last long term.

Remove retainers when swimming.

Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Athletics

If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective custom mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances straight away. 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 pain.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t worry if a wire or band becomes loose – this can happen. If the wire protrudes and is irritating, you can use a blunt item such as a spoon or similar and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back under the archwire. This will push it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth is ongoing you can put wax on the wire to reduce this. Call us as soon as possible for an appointment so that we may check and repair the appliance if necessary. If a part comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office. 

Emergency Care

An emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking out. 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 the problem. 

Biolase Technology

We offer the latest in technology, including the Biolase Ezlase laser. This technology makes soft tissue procedures easier and more comfortable. It is the first dental laser to obtain clearance to use a unique 940 nm wavelength which provides greater patient comfort and more effective and precise tissue manipulation. Often these procedures can even be done with topical anesthetic alone.

The use of the laser can speed up treatment, but can also help maintain the health of the dental enamel and gingiva under certain circumstances. Please ask us how the Biolase Ezlase can speed the eruption of certain teeth, uncover short teeth, and take away excess gum tissue for you or your child.

Retention Phase

This phase is just as important as the period of wearing braces. The purpose of retainers is to hold the teeth in their new positions while the bones, gums and muscles adapt to the new arrangement. The retainer will need to be worn at all times, day and night, and retainer wear will generally be reduced over a period of time. We will monitor the retainer for the next 18-24 months.

Find out more about orthodontics and treatment options