Life With Braces

Eating with Braces

Never fear! Even though you may have to temporarily give up foods that might damage your orthodontic appliances, the better you do at taking care of them the faster you’ll be finished and be able to go back to the foods you love.

Foods to avoid while wearing braces:

  • Hard foods — hard candy, nuts
  • Sticky foods — taffy, gum, caramel
  • Crunchy foods — ice, popcorn, chips
  • Chewy foods — licorice, bagels
  • Foods that require you to bite into them — apples, carrots, corn on the cob

Foods you CAN eat while wearing braces:

  • Treats — pudding, Jell-O, ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, soft cake
  • Fruits — bananas, applesauce
  • Grains — spaghetti, pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Breads — pancakes, muffins without nuts, soft tortillas
  • Vegetables — steamed spinach, mashed potatoes, corn off the cob, beans
  • Dairy — milk-based drinks, soft cheese, cottage cheese
  • Meats/poultry — meatballs, pulled pork, soft cooked chicken, lunch meats
  • Seafood — boneless fish, salmon, tuna, crab cakes

Discomfort from orthodontic appliances

When you first get your orthodontic appliances, your teeth and mouth may get a little tender or sore. This is normal and will pass quickly! To relieve the discomfort, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow; spit out after done).

If the discomfort is more severe and does not ease up after rinsing, you can also try a pain reliever such as you would take for a headache. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for a short period as they toughen up and become accustomed to the braces. Orthodontic wax can be put over the braces to help alleviate the tenderness. If you are in need of wax, please let us know.

Loose teeth

Don’t worry if your teeth begin feeling a little loose. This is normal. The continual light forces of the appliances first loosen your teeth so they can move into the right position. Once the teeth have been repositioned, they will stabilize and will feel solid as normal.

Loose or broken appliances

Great care is taken during the bonding process to ensure that the appliances bonded to the teeth are secure. Wires and other appliances may then be attached to bonded appliances.  Although unlikely, it is possible that the bond may come loose or break from the tooth entirely. This is most likely to happen when care is not taken to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods as described above. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliances. If any piece of your appliances come off, be sure to save them and bring them to the office with you.

Take care during treatment

Damaged or broken appliances will increase the length of your treatment, so be sure to take care of all your orthodontic appliances. Your teeth and jaws can only move into correct position if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainers, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

Be safe while playing sports with braces

Athletes don’t have to be afraid of orthodontic treatment. You can still play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do, we recommend that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and mouth. We offer one mouthguard free of charge with your orthodontic treatment, and if needed, additional mouthguards can be purchased for a very low cost.

In the case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and orthodontic appliances for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or damaged appliances, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve any discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.