Living With Braces

Braces apply pressure to your teeth which is how the teeth move where we want them to. This can lead to a weird feeling in your mouth and gums and for some it might be a little uncomfortable, especially when eating. Eat fairly soft food for the first 24 hours and take an over-the-counter pain medication if necessary. The brackets and bands on your teeth project from the teeth and cause pressure against the inside of your lips and cheeks which may cause some abrasion or irritation. Apply orthodontic wax to the bracket opposite the sore but try to use the wax sparingly so that your mouth can get used to the braces. Soon you won’t even know they are there.

Foods to Avoid

Your braces are bonded to your teeth and certain foods can easily break a bracket off a tooth. The following foods should always be cut into small pieces:

  • Raw carrots
  • Raw broccoli
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Hard pretzels
  • Corn on the cob
  • Hard breads or crusts

Do not chew ice, nuts, peanut brittle, hard candy or other similar foods. Sticky foods can stick to your braces and make effective tooth brushing difficult. Some sticky foods can even pull a band off a tooth. Avoid these foods:

  • Taffy
  • Tootsie rolls
  • Gummi Bears
  • Caramels
  • Cracker Jacks
  • Fruit roll-ups
  • Chewing gum

Keep these things out of your mouth as they will also cause damage:

  • Fingers
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Popsicle sticks

Broken appliances can occur from time to time during your orthodontic care. If there is any disturbance, such as loose bands or broken or poking wires, call our office as soon as possible so we can evaluate the urgency of the problem and schedule you to be seen accordingly. In the interim, the following are helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may encounter until you can be seen in our office:

  • If a wire is irritating to your mouth, cover it with orthodontic wax or tuck it under the archwire using a blunt object like a new, unused pencil eraser or the back of a spoon.
  • A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until you are seen in our office. Call the office as soon as you notice it so we can schedule you to be seen.
  • A broken archwire, or one that is irritating the gum or cheek tissue, needs to be seen as soon as possible for replacement or adjustment.
  • A bent headgear facebow or removable appliance that is not fitting well should not be worn until it can be properly adjusted in our office.