Life with Braces

life with braces

Common sense is the guide to eating with braces.  Avoid foods that are sticky, hard or have sugar.

  1. Sticky, gooey, or tough food can pull braces loose.  An example is a Now-and-Later™ candy or Taffy.  Avoid these and use common sense to avoid other similar foods.  How you eat is sometimes more important than what you eat.  Take a chewy bagel for example. It’s probably OK if you tear off pieces and chew it.  On the other hand you will damage your braces if you rip it with your front teeth.
  2. Hard foods can break brackets, bend wires and create general havoc with your treatment.  Examples include ice cubes, un-popped popcorn kernels and corn nuts.  These are wrecking balls for your braces and items like them should be avoided.
  3. Limit the use of foods containing sugar that will make unsightly white spots or even actual decay around the braces.  Become a label detective and discover the “disguises” for sugar in foods. Sugar is often disguised in labels as corn syrup, corn sweetener, natural sweetener, treacle, evaporated cane juice, molasses, honey, or just about anything ending in “o-s-e”, like sucrose, fructose, dextrose, saccharose, lactose, etc etc.  Are you going to go a year or two with no sugar at all?  Not very likely!  So just be smart about it and keep it to a minimum and rinse with water (if you can’t brush) after eating anything with sugar.

No Soda

The worst is carbonated soft drinks.  The combination of carbonic acid (that’s what makes it fizzy) and sugar are a double whammy for tooth enamel.  Remember; your lips and cheeks can’t move sugary liquids away from your teeth as they did before you had braces.  Bottled water is your friend!

Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances

Your teeth will be sore and your lips or cheeks may be irritated when you first get your braces. This is normal and will improve over time. We recommend ibuprofen, Tylenol™, or Alleve™ for tooth soreness. Rinsing vigorously with 8 ounces of warm water mixed with one level teaspoon of salt will help with lip or cheek irritation. Keep swishing it for at least one full minute. 

We will give you orthodontic wax that you can put over the braces to protect your lips and cheeks from rough areas while they become accustomed to the braces.  Most people need the wax for only a few weeks, after which the lips and cheeks have adjusted to the braces.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling loose, don't worry; this is normal! They will become firm later in treatment or after the braces are removed.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your braces. Be sure to bring any loose or broken part of your braces with you when you come for repair.  You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the irritation.

Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouth-guard to protect your teeth, lips and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouth-guard for the best protection.

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