Life with Braces

You have your new braces on and you are ready to get back to life as usual—well, almost as usual. There will be a few adjustments you need to make to accommodate your new braces. Read below to learn about the changes you will need to make while you are in treatment.

Eating with Braces

Your braces have the ability to improve your health and happiness well into the future, but to get a positive result, you have to do everything you can to protect your appliance. One of the more difficult adjustments you will need to make is to your diet. Eating the wrong foods can damage your braces, hurting your results and likely delaying your treatment. Be certain to avoid the foods below to ensure the best results from your treatment.

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots (consider cutting into smaller pieces)

Now, reading that probably didn’t make you feel too great, so let’s look at some of the foods you can eat while you are in treatment.

  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — well cooked pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans, well cooked vegetables
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake

Soreness Caused by Braces

‘Are they going to hurt?”

This is a question every patient asks us before their braces are placed. And the truth is that, yes, they are going to cause you some soreness. However, you should not experience genuine pain from your braces. Most patients go right back to work or school after getting them.

The initial days with your appliance will be your hardest. Your teeth will be sensitive to biting pressure and your lips and cheeks may get irritated by the presence of something new. For the sensitive teeth, stick to soft foods and consider using an over-the-counter pain reliever. For both the soreness and the irritation, use a simple saltwater rinse. If there is a particular part of your appliance that is bothering you, place dental wax over it until your mouth adjusts.

Loosing Teeth

It can be disconcerting to our Portland and Beaverton braces patients, but your teeth will become loose during treatment. This is necessary in order to get your teeth into their ideal position. While you might feel like your teeth are falling out, they are not. After your treatment is complete, you will wear a retainer to hold them into place as they firm up. Before you know it, your teeth will feel as they always have.

Loose Wires and Bands

Most braces patients are going to experience a part of their appliance coming loose. When you experience this, do not panic. Contact us as soon as possible, and take the following steps to help you stay comfortable until you are able to come in and see us.

If you have a loose wire that is poking you, push it back into place using the eraser end of a pencil. If you cannot do this, try covering it with dental wax. If this does not help, you can try clipping it with small nail clippers, but sterilize them first.

Always Following the Treatment Plan

For the best and fastest results, you need to follow the doctor’s orders. Any deviation from your prescribed care will mean a reduction in the quality of your treatment and an increase in the time it takes for your treatment to be complete. If you are an athlete, make certain your doctor knows this before your braces are placed so that special steps can be included in your care plan.

We only want the best for our Portland braces patients; contact us if you have any questions.