Life with Braces

Eating with Braces

There are some foods that need to be completely avoided when braces are on, but most foods just need to be approached a little differently. For example, you would not want to bite directly into an apple with your braces on, but you could cut the apple into slices and eat it with no problem at all. The same goes for foods such as pizza and bagels.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy Foods – Licorice, Fruit Leather
  • Crunchy foods – Popcorn, Corn Chips, Pretzel Rods
  • Sticky Foods – Chewing Gum, Caramel, Taffy (these are the worst culprits for broken appliances)
  • Hard Foods – Large nuts, Hard candies, Peanut Brittle (that one lands under the hard, sticky, and crunchy categories…a major no-no)
  • Foods that require biting into – Corn on the Cob, Apples, Carrots (Remember to cut up into bite size pieces and some of these foods become ok!)

Pro Tips:

  • Tacos are still fair game if you order up a soft shell instead of a crunchy one
  • Muffins are generally soft enough to bite into without causing trouble – but watch out for nuts that might be hiding beneath the surface!
  • If you haven’t already, take some time to learn about the beauty of mashed potatoes.
  • Cutting down on sugary treats, even those that aren’t on the foods to avoid list, is always a positive dietary choice. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, and that is how cavities are formed.
  • Steamed vegetables still offer the “snap” that raw veggies do, but with less potential harm to your braces.

Soreness caused by orthodontic treatment and appliances

When you leave the office with your new braces, you will likely not feel too much different, but as the day goes on you will begin to feel uncomfortable as your teeth, gums, and jaw muscles all get used to the big change. This is why we recommend that you eat a big lunch while you are still feeling up to it, and then plan on something softer for dinner. It is very common to experience discomfort at first, but you will not be sore forever!

If you are experiencing irritation on your gums and cheeks from the brackets rubbing, our recommendation is to swish around some warm salt water (just don’t swallow it…gross). We are also happy to provide you with wax to put over the edges of your brackets while your mouth is getting used to them. Of course, if you are experiencing pain that you think is over the top or lasting longer than you expected, do not hesitate to call us so we can assess the situation!

Loose teeth

It is common for your teeth to feel a little loose at different points during treatment. Your braces have to first loosen your teeth before they can reposition them.

Loose appliances

The bands and wires on your teeth may become loose or unattached. If this happens call our office so we can advise you on how to proceed! Most often, we will have you come in to the office for us to replace or fix the issue.

If left uncared for, loose brackets and wires can hold up your treatment or become very uncomfortable, so it is important to call us as soon as you notice something out of place!

Playing Sports with Braces

You can still enjoy all of your athletic activities while undergoing orthodontic treatment. You should certainly wear a mouth guard when playing sports, but be sure to talk with the doctor about what kinds of mouth guards are safe to wear while in braces.