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,
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils
can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness
in your mouth and 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
Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces 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.
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, 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 after orthodontic
treatment. 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 should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
- Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor
- Take your retainers out when eating... and always
put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a
toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers
removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic
appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should
ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak.
Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care.
If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your
retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them
- Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
- Retainer replacement is expensive... with proper
care they will last for years!
- Remove retainers when swimming.
- Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car
dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
Removable Expander Instructions
- Wear your expander all the time. That means all
day, during meals, and while sleeping.
- Remove your expander only to brush your teeth.
Brush your expander at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Fixed Expander Instructions
- Turn your expansion screws as instructed. Insert
the key into the hole and turn toward the arrow.
- If you are unable to keep your scheduled
appointment, stop turning the expander.
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
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.
Loose Wire or Band
Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This
happens occasionally. If 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.
As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made
when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking
out that you can't take care of.
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
what part is broken or out of place.