Eating with Braces
For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to return to a fairly normal diet. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re in treatment. Eating the wrong foods during orthodontic treatment could cause unnecessary breakage of your appliances, thus adding additional treatment time..
Foods to Avoid
Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
Sticky foods: caramels, gum
Hard foods: nuts, candy
Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
The day your braces are placed, your teeth may have some general soreness. They may also feel tender to biting pressures for three to five days. We recommend taking Motrin or Ibuprofen to help relieve this discomfort. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated as the inside of your mouth becomes accustomed to the surface of the braces. Placing wax over the braces will soften those surfaces and allow your mouth more time to adjust to your new braces.
To successfully complete orthodontic treatment, it is imperative that the patient and their orthodontist work together. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. It is by far… a “team effort”.
It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
Along with brushing your teeth and braces, it is extremely important that you floss your teeth at least once a day. Your toothbrush can only clean the fronts and backs of your teeth, not in between as flossing does.A great time to do this is right before bed, after you have brushed your teeth.
Brushing: Step 1
Using a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste place bristles where gums and teeth meet.
Brushing: Step 2
For 10 seconds on each tooth use circular, vibrating motions around the gum lines.
Brushing: Step 3
Every tooth of both arches should be brushed slowly.
Brushing: Step 4
Brush the lower teeth from gum line up and the upper teeth from the gum line down. Brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue too!
Flossing: Step 1
Carefully thread unwaxed floss between braces and wire. You may find a floss threader helpful.
Flossing: Step 2
Carefully floss around the braces.
Flossing: Step 3
Carefully floss around the gum areas.
Flossing: Step 4
Carefully floss around each tooth.
If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness. More information about Orthodontic treatment in San Antonio