Now that you either have your braces or about to have your braces placed, you need to know how to live with them. While that sounds intimidating, the reality is that living with braces isn’t too tough. Below are the basic items to keep in mind.
Eating with Braces
While in treatment, you may need to let go of some of your favorite foods. Will it be tough? Yes, but your braces come off eventually, and once they are gone, you will be enjoying both your favorite foods again, as well as your new smile.
FOODS TO AVOID WITH BRACES:
- Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
- Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
- Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
- Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
- Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Foods you CAN eat with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Soreness Caused by Braces and Appliances
Your braces should never be painful. However, they can cause soreness and irritation. When your braces are first applied, your teeth will be sensitive to bite pressure. This will make eating a little difficult, but if you stick to soft foods, all will be well. This sensitivity is due to the braces placing pressure on the teeth. Soon your teeth will adjust, and the sensitivity will go away. When your braces are adjusted, this sensitivity can come back for a day or so. You can cope with it by using a saltwater rinse or over-the-counter pain medication.
If your braces are irritating the tissues of your mouth, you can cover the offending area with dental wax. Over a few days, the tissues will get used to it and you will be able to quit using dental wax. If there is a wire poking you, you can cover it or clip it so it stops poking you.
As your braces start to move your teeth, you will feel your teeth becoming loose. While this is a sensation that can make you panic, do not worry: this is normal. Your teeth must become loose in order to move them. Rest assured that your teeth will not fall out, and once they are in their ideal position, they will firm up into place. After your braces are gone, you will wear a retainer to keep them firm and in place.
Loose Wires, Bands, and Brackets
Sometimes, parts of your braces will become loose. When this occurs, you should call us so we can schedule an appointment to see you. If a piece comes off completely, save it and bring it to us. With a loose wire, you can do a quick fix by using a clean pencil eraser to push it back into place. Dental wax can cover the end to prevent irritation. For loose bands and brackets, use dental wax to see if it will hold the item in place until you see us, but be certain to see us as soon as possible.
Playing Sports with Braces
If you have braces, you can still play sports. All you need to do is wear a mouthguard while you play. We can create a custom mouthguard for you that comfortably fits over your teeth and braces. If you experience an emergency when playing sports, call our office or emergency line so we can determine if immediate treatment is needed. If you feel that the situation requires emergency care outside of office hours, contact us and head to the ER.