Living with Braces
When you get braces for the first time, it's important to learn how to best care for them. Adjusting to living with braces is easy when you keep a few simple things in mind. It'll ease the transition to braces and make things better for the duration of your orthodontic treatment.
Eating with Braces
One of the biggest adjustments to new braces is learning what – and how – to eat! There are some foods that you should avoid but you shouldn't feel too limited. There's still a LOT of different foods you can eat and enjoy.
Avoid These Foods:
- 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 Enjoy 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
"My braces make my mouth sore!!"
Just like you have to adjust some of your behaviors when you first get braces, your body needs to adjust too. It's true – and normal – that your gums and teeth can feel sore or tender after first getting your braces or other orthodontic appliances. It won't always be this way since your body will certainly adjust and learn to get used to these new additions. In the meantime, a great home remedy for soreness is to dissolve one teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of lukewarm water. Gargle these for 30-60 seconds before spitting the water down the drain.
For more severe pain, you can also take various over-the-counter pain relievers according to the directions on the packaging.
If you find yourself biting your cheek or lips, we can also give you some wax to help with this. Just ask!
If your teeth begin to feel a little loose, don't worry. In order to adjust the positioning of your teeth, your teeth must first be loosened from their current position so the braces can do their work. If you have concerns about your teeth, however, please feel free to contact us.
Loose Wires and Bands
Sometimes wires and bands may become loose and need to be repaired or adjusted. If this happens, contact us as soon as possible and we'll get your braces back in working order. In the rare event that parts of your braces come off, save the piece(s) and bring it to the office during your visit.
Caring for Your Braces/Appliances
As helpful as braces will be, we don't want you to be in braces longer than they're needed. When your braces are damaged, it can lengthen the amount of time that your treatment may take. Follow your doctor's directions and be sure to use the appliances exactly how you are told to do so. If you are concerned that braces need attention or repair, contact us right away.
Can I Play Sports with my Braces?
Of course. Many people continue with sports and other activities while receiving treatment. It is a good idea to wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth if there is even a remote chance of damage during play. We can help you determine which mouth guards may be the best for your situation.
If you do encounter a sports emergency or injury while receiving ongoing orthodontic treatment, inspect your mouth and appliance for damage. Contact us immediately if you notice that repairs are needed or any loose teeth.