Life With Braces
What You Need to Know:
The majority of people must wear braces at some point in their lives, but despite how common this is, it tends to be a dreaded time for most. This usually has to do with the confusion circulating the equipment, and the common misunderstandings when it comes to changes in a person’s diet. Braces are not a permanent sentence, and we assure you that your end result with be worth the small setbacks. To follow is a common list of foods that should be avoided with braces, what you can expect while wearing the equipment, and what to do if any problems should occur.
Acceptable Foods and Items to Avoid:
Again, many people believe that their time spent wearing braces will be limited to eating soups and smoothies, but that is surely not the case! Tasty options still exist for those undergoing orthodontic care, but there are some recommendations for foods to avoid. Take a look, soothe your mind, and enjoy the endless options that are still available for you.
What You can Eat
What to Avoid
- Soft breads, like hamburger buns, standard white bread, tortillas, and sub rolls. Pancakes and french toast are great choices, too!
- Certain dairies, including yogurt, soft cheeses, and cottage cheese.
- The best of grains: Pasta, noodles, barley, and white rice.
- Lunch meats, meatballs, and soft-cooked chicken, pork, and beef.
- Do not forget the dessert: jello, cake, soft cookies, puddings, fruit pies, and soft brownies that are not too chewy.
- Mashed potatoes, french fries, baked potatoes.
- Soft cooked vegetables.
- Certain fruits, like bananas, blueberries, and applesauce.
- Fish that has been properly descaled and is without bones. Other seafood, like lobster, shrimp, and tuna are great options as well.
- All types of nuts, as they are able to work their way under brackets to dislodge them. The hardness of them can snap wires and other equipment, too.
- Chewy breads: Bagels, crusty french bread, pretzels, and ciabatta rolls.
- Raw vegetables and fruits: Apples, carrots, broccoli, pears, and celery.
- Raspberries and strawberries, simply because the seeds hold the potential to cause an abscess if not removed; their residue is generally difficult to clean out of the hardware.
- Nut butters: Peanut butter, almond butter, and hazelnut spreads are difficult to fully clean off the equipment. The thickness of these items holds the potential for breaks, too.
- Popcorn, due to the kernels.
- Seeds, including sunflower seeds.
- Tough meats–especially jerky.
- Sticky candies: Toffees, licorice, caramels and, especially, gum.
- Chewing on ice is the most effective means to snap brackets and dislodge wires.Of course, non-edible items, like chewing on pen caps, pencil erasers, and even nail-biting, should be avoided as well.
What to Expect on a Daily Basis/What to Be Prepared for:
In the first stages of wearing the equipment, and even after routine visits when the hardware has been tightened or changed, it is normal to expect soreness and tenderness to the touch. This surrounds the fact that braces soften the teeth to be able to transition them to be straighter and generally shifted, but it should subside in a few, short days. Of course, if your pain does not seem to subside despite your efforts, it is important to call us right away to guarantee there are not any issues.
Daily, it might be an adjustment to get used to having this equipment in your mouth. Remaining aware of what you are eating, chewing on, and the manner that you maintain your oral hygiene is sometimes difficult to do, but we assure you that it will quickly become second nature.
What to Do If…
You Play Sports
Tell us–we can help you find a mouthguard that is the perfect fit! A lot of people believe that they are unable to play sports, but there is really no greater risk for people with braces than for people without them.
You Lose a Bracket
It happens, but it is important to find the hardware (if you can) and to schedule an appointment right away to have it fixed or replaced. Remember, the more time spent without the proper equipment is more time that the braces have to stay on.
Your Wire Comes Loose
A loose wire can be fairly irritating and, often, painful. If you should have a wire come loose, it is important that you take a pencil with a clean eraser or use orthodontic wax to gently move the wire back into place to the best of your ability. Calling us to schedule an appointment for repair is the next step.
You Play an Instrument
Wearing braces at all is an adjustment, and the same concept applies to playing an instrument. You are still able to play, but it will feel a bit strange at first. Practice makes perfect and, in this case, is for making an adjustment.