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Eating With Braces

What can you eat?  You can eat just about anything, but 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 chew normally again, but you’ll need to protect your braces from breaking off during treatment.  You will find cutting foods into small pieces is very helpful and makes it easier for you to eat.



Chewy foods:  bagels, hard rolls, licorice
Crunchy foods:  popcorn, chocolate bars with nuts, chips
Sticky foods:  caramels, gum
Hard foods:  nuts, candy such as Jolly Ranchers
Foods you have to bite into:  corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Chewing on hard things:   ice cubes, pens, pencils or fingernails can damage the braces, and this may cause treatment to take longer



When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for two to five days.  This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water rinse.  Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously.  If the tenderness is severe, take a Tylenol or whatever pain reliever you normally take for a headache or similar pain.  The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces.  We will give you some wax to put on the braces to reduce this.  We’ll show you how!



Don’t stress if a wire or band comes loose as this can happen occasionally.  If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently, push it towards the teeth and get it out of the way.  If the last brace breaks, and the remaining wire is sticking out, trim the end with a nail clipper or clean wire cutter if possible.  If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax on the wire to reduce the annoyance.  Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances, and if any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.  Sometimes, it is OK to leave the broken brace on the wire (if it doesn’t hurt) until the next visit, as all the other teeth are still moving.  See Emergency Care page for more details.



This is to be expected throughout treatment.  Don’t be alarmed!  It happens as teeth must loosen slightly before they can be moved.  The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their newly corrected positions.



To successfully complete your new smile, patients and Doctors at Align work as a team to get the best result. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the elastics or other appliances function as prescribed.  Damaged appliances can lengthen the treatment time.



It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so your teeth and gums are healthy after Orthodontic treatment.  We will monitor your oral hygiene and offer tips, tricks and motivation along the way.  Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for professional cleanings along the way.  We recommend Water piks to help and sometimes we will prescribe a special mouth rinse to make things easier.



If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions.  A protective mouthguard is advised for playing any contact sports.  As the teeth are moving you will have to refit the mouthguard along the way.  We recommend the boil and bite type as they can her refit a couple of times before they need replacement.  In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately.  If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, call us for an appointment.


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