Life With Braces

The idea of living daily with braces may be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. It does take a little getting used to though.  Although at first you may feel that the teeth are tender or sensitive to pressure or that you feel awkward with braces that “stick out.” This is completely normal, and the feeling will pass. If you are experiencing irritated cheeks, you can apply orthodontic wax to the brackets for added comfort. We will show you how to do this before you leave the office so that you are confident and able to repeat it at home. It is common for many patients to experience some discomfort the first few days, but this will go away quickly. A little bit of over-the-counter pain relievers can help if you are experiencing pain.

New Eating Habits

Although it does not take long for your braces to be placed, it takes an entire day for the bands to completely affix. During this time, it’s especially important to eat soft food, and nothing solid for the first few hours. After the tenderness goes away, you’ll be safe to eat more typical foods, but you should still be taking special care of your braces and teeth.

To avoid wires from being bent or broken, you should avoid foods that are sticky, hard, or chewy. Although in general for the health of your teeth, you should avoid sugary food and drinks that cause cavities, it is especially important when you have braces. You should continue to brush, floss, and rinse your mouth between meals.

Foods that commonly cause problems and breakage include:

  • gum
  • beef jerky
  • nuts/peanuts
  • hard or sticky candy (caramel, starburst, tootsie rolls, etc.)
  • corn chips
  • hard taco shells
  • whole apples
  • celery
  • taffy
  • popcorn
  • soda/pop
  • candy bars

Should you decide to eat these foods anyway, you may need extra visits for repair and will extend the length you will need to wear the braces. The good news is that the diet is only temporary. After completing your diet, you’re free to go back to eating these foods. If you’re not sure if one of your favorite foods will irritate your braces, don’t hesitate to ask; we can provide a good recommendation.