Food And Your Braces
There’s a list of foods you’ll have to refrain from eating to avoid any damage to your braces. We know how hard it is to give up some of your favorite foods, but avoiding them will make the process much easier.
The following types of food could potentially harm your new appliances, take a look:
- Hard and Chewy Foods – Bagels, pretzels, nuts, and other foods that require excessive chewing can break brackets and damage wires.
- Food that Crunch – Similar to hard-to-chew foods, crunchy chips and popcorn also pose a threat to your brackets.
- Sticky Foods – Sorry candy lovers. Taffy, caramel, and gum are all risky when it comes to braces. These foods can not only pull off your brackets, but also get stuck in areas that are hard to reach for cleaning.
- Big Bites – Foods that need to be bitten into like apples, carrots, and corn on the cob should be avoided. Needless to say, they too may break or damage your braces.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of other foods you can enjoy with braces. As many of the foods you should avoid include tasty treats, ice cream and pudding are great options to get your sugar fix and prevent damage to your braces. Additionally, here is a list of just a few foods you can eat:
- Dairy Products – Soft cheese, milk, pudding, and ice cream
- Bread – Muffins (no nuts), waffles, and tortillas
- Grains – Cooked rice and pasta
- Meat and Seafood – Boneless meat and poultry, tuna, and crab cakes
- Fruits and Vegetables – Bananas, juice, mashed potatoes, peas, and beans
Oral Hygiene Instructions
Proper oral hygiene is crucial during your time in braces! Patients with poor hygiene are prone to cavities and gingival inflammation. Furthermore, you can develop permanent white spots on your teeth caused by decalcification.
- Brushing – Make sure to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after EVERY meal (at least 2- 3 times per day)! We highly recommend using a prescription toothpaste such as Prevident®. You need to brush for 2 minutes each time. You may want to use an electric toothbrush with a timer built in (such as a SonicareTM or Oral-BTM). Don’t forget to brush the gum line very thoroughly!
- Flossing – You need to floss at least once per day.You can use traditional floss with a floss threader, superfloss, or pre-strung floss sticks (make sure to use the ones specially made for braces). You may also want to use a water flosser such as Waterpik®.
- Fluoride Mouthwash – Lastly, a daily fluoride mouthwash such as Colgate® Phos-Flur is highly recommended to strengthen enamel and prevent white spot lesions.
Aches And Concerns
It’s quite common to feel some aches and tenderness when you first get your braces. Don’t be alarmed, though. These usual pains won’t last and you can gargle with warm salt water to alleviate the soreness. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of water and gargle away!
In some cases, the soreness from braces can be a bit more painful and may require taking mild pain relievers. As your mouth adapts to your new appliances, your lips and cheeks can often become agitated. At your request, we can provide you with wax to cover your braces and help reduce the irritation.
Aside from possible aches and pains, some concerns may arise, such as loose teeth. While loose teeth can be alarming, it’s perfectly normal with braces. As your new braces work to straighten your teeth, they will loosen a bit as they are moved into the correct position.
Loose Wires And Bands
Much like the concerns of loose teeth and pains from braces, the wires, brackets, and bands of your braces may come loose over time. Whether your braces comes loose or pieces break off, be sure to contact us and save any broken pieces. We’ll get your braces repaired in no time.
If needed, you can always push a loose wire back into position with a pencil top or something similar. Sometimes, these loose wires can press against your cheeks or lips, causing irritation. In this case, use wax or a cotton ball to reduce irritation while you wait to come in and get your braces fixed.
Caring For Your Braces
When it comes to caring for your braces, avoiding the foods listed above and wearing any additional appliance such as bands or headgear is crucial, as damage to your braces often lengthens the time you’ll have them on. Crooked teeth and misaligned bites will only be corrected if you utilize your bands, retainers, or headgear. If not, the entire process will take longer and you’ll have to continue avoiding all those tasty foods.
Sports And Braces
Adding to the proper care of your braces, it’s important to keep them protected when playing sports, as you can damage both your braces and mouth if you’re not careful. Accordingly, we recommend that our patients where a protective mouthguard to avoid any potential harm to your braces.