Life With Braces
When you first get braces
The appointment in which we affix braces to your teeth doesn’t take all that long, but the special cement used takes about a day to fully harden and settle. Wait a few hours before eating any solid food, and even over the next day or two, you will likely want to stick with very soft foods, puréed soups, or smoothies. In addition, your teeth will feel a little tender or sore at first. This soreness will go away with a few days, if not sooner, but for faster relief, take your preferred pain medication, such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.).
Your mouth may also feel a little awkward as it gets used to having brackets on the teeth. During this breaking-in period, the brackets can sometimes irritate the insides of your mouth. At the appointment, we will give you some dental wax for you to put on your brackets. Use it as much you feel you need to. We can always give you more.
If you are using Invisalign trays instead of traditional braces, you won’t need dental wax, but the trays may feel awkward as you get used to them, and again, there may be some soreness at first.
During your treatment
Throughout your orthodontic treatment, you will need to come in for appointments every one to three months, depending on your individual situation. After appointments in which we tighten your archwires, again you may feel some soreness and may wish to eat soft foods and take pain relievers.
Likewise for Invisalign patients, when you switch Invisalign trays to the next one in your series, your teeth may feel sore at first as they get used to the new tray.
If you have any problems or concerns during your treatment, please let us know about them! We can recommend many orthodontic products that could be useful to you.
What to eat
You will have to alter your diet somewhat while you’re in braces. In particular, you should avoid hard, crunchy foods and chewy, sticky foods.
The problem with hard foods is that the force your jaw exerts when eating them can loosen the cement that affixes the braces to your teeth, bend wires, or even cause brackets to pop off. These problems will involve extra visits, require repairs, cause pain, and extend treatment.
The problem with sticky foods is they can get caught underneath your brackets and stay there beyond the reach of brushes, floss, and other dental cleaning tools. This situation will increase the risk of tooth decay, which will harm your teeth and can derail your progress in orthodontic treatment. Likewise, you should avoid sugary foods and drinks that promote tooth decay, even if they aren’t sticky.
Specific examples of foods to avoid are below.
|gum||beef jerky||nuts||hard or sticky candy|
|corn chips||crisp taco shells||whole apples||celery|
If you have any questions about the foods you should or should not eat, feel free to ask us.
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