Life With Braces

Life With Braces

Your braces will be attached quickly and easily to your teeth, but a full day is necessary for the bands to completely affix. It is a good idea to wait several hours after getting braces before eating solid food. You may find it easier to eat soft foods for the first couple of days while you are becoming accustomed to eating with your new braces.

Comfort Concerns

The braces may feel a little awkward at first and the teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure initially. This is completely normal and will go away soon. It may feel as though the braces are “sticking out,” but this sensation will also soon pass. Small pieces of orthodontic wax may be applied to the brackets if they irritate cheek tissues. We always have extra wax in case you run out, so please call us if you need more.

Many patients will experience some discomfort at first, but the soreness will go away within the first few days or even hours of getting braces. It is impossible to predict exactly when the tenderness will end. Some patients choose to take over-the-counter pain relievers the first day of treatment to lessen the discomfort. To ensure the best result patients can take the medication before the appointment.

Eating Right

Braces are attached to your teeth with a strong adhesive, but may become loose as a result of eating certain foods. It is also possible that wires could become bent or broken without proper care. In order to achieve orthodontic treatment goals with as few disruptions as possible, a well-balanced diet is important to ensure a healthy environment for your teeth.

Patients should avoid foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. They should also avoid any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities and have a high sugar content. Patients should brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals.

Food to Avoid When You Have Braces

These foods can cause a wire to break or a bracket to pop off.

  • Hard ice chips (Slurpees are O.K.)
  • Hard candy
  • Peanuts
  • Hard pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Very sticky candy (taffy, Tootsie Rolls, Gummie Bears, Now or Laters, etc.)
  • Bubble gum (Regular sugarless stick gum is o.K., but avoid it if you have an appliance on the roof of your mouth)
  • Crunchy vegetable and fruit (O.K. to eat if you slice up first)
  • Hard crunchy chips such as Doritos or Fritos (Break them up into small pieces if you can’t give them up!)
  • Wings and ribs – slice meat off the bone first
  • Corn on the cob-cut kernels from cob prior to eating
  • Please no chewing on pencils, pens & fingernails.

Eating restricted foods may cause problems which will result in extra visits for repairs and will ultimately extend the length of your orthodontic treatment. You will have plenty of time to enjoy these restricted foods after completing your time in braces. If you have any specific questions about your food choices please call and ask “Dr. J” or any one of our knowledgeable staff members.