Traditional metal braces use small brackets that are affixed to teeth to hold thin wires in place. These wires are minutely adjusted over time to gently guide teeth into the proper placement and alignment within the mouth. Although braces don’t hurt, in the first couple days after getting braces, you may feel a slight discomfort as your teeth and mouth begin adjusting to the new braces.
At Battiste Orthodontics, you can select traditional metal braces or the more discreet clear braces for your orthodontic treatment.
When you have braces, it is important for to brush your teeth four (4) to five (5) times a day. This means brushing after every meal if possible, to prevent food from getting stuck.
What you eat and do not eat will directly affect the condition of your teeth during orthodontic treatment. Here are some tips on what kinds of foods you should avoid and how to carefully enjoy some of your favorites.
At times, it is difficult to break and chew certain foods. Eating hard foods can be harmful during orthodontic treatment because they can bend or break wires and even displace brackets. You should avoid them entirely after you have had your wires changed, since teeth are the most tender at this stage.
Tips for eating hard foods:
- Fruits are an essential part of a balanced diet. If you want to eat apples, pears and peaches, make sure you do not directly bite into them. Instead, cut them into small pieces before consuming.
- If you enjoy eating almonds, cashews or peanuts, consider grinding them and adding to cereals and yogurt.
- While eating chicken wings or ribs, remove the bones before consuming. This prevents you from accidentally biting down on a bone and dislocating a bracket.
- While eating corn, remove the kernels from the cob to help prevent damage to braces.
- Avoid chewing on ice. You can suck on ice cubes, but never bite them.
Sticky and Sweet Foods
Sticky foods can get stuck to teeth and braces and can even result in the braces getting pulled off. Sweet, sugary foods are high in sugar and their consumption can lead to tooth decay.
Tips for eating sticky and sweet foods:
- If you enjoys eating candy, suck on it instead of chewing. Be sure you rinse your mouth with water to avoid sugar buildup on your teeth.
- Avoid chewing on gum. Gum can stick to braces and may be difficult to clean. It can also loosen the wires and brackets.
For more tips on living with braces, contact our office.