Your Guide To Braces
BRIDGEPORT, NEW HAVEN, DANBURY, STRATFORD, ORANGE, CT
What Can I Eat With Braces?
Don’t worry, you’ll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.
Foods to avoid with braces:
- 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
Foods you can eat with braces:
- Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
- Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
- Grains — pasta, soft-cooked rice
- Meats/poultry — soft-cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
- Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
- Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
- Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice
- Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake
Do Braces Hurt?
When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal, and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever! To relieve the pain, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).
If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need some wax, please let us know.
How Can I Take Care Of My Teeth If I’m Wearing Braces Or A Retainer?
- ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask your orthodontist or family dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities!
- If you take out your retainer to eat, make sure you brush your teeth, floss, and remember to keep it safe in its container so that it does not get lost or broken.
- Keep your retainer clean, too, by brushing it gently with a toothbrush, warm water, and mild detergent. Never use toothpaste because it can leave scratches.
- You may also soak it in denture cleaner as instructed by your orthodontist. Do not put your retainer in boiling water, bleach, vinegar, or in the dishwasher.
- During your treatment, try to avoid foods with a lot of sugar, which increases the number of bacteria that grows in your mouth, causing more plaque and possibly cavities.
- Avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears), hard foods (hard candy, nuts, ice cubes), or any foods that could possibly get stuck in your braces (corn on the cob, soft bagels, ribs, taffy, etc.).
- Be sure to schedule your routine checkups with your family dentist. It is recommended that you continue to visit the dentist every six months.
Do I Need To Brush My Teeth More Often If I Have Braces?
With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times daily to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and clean. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to get in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.
If I Have Braces, Do I Still Need Dental Check-Ups Every 6 Months?
Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up that can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to ensure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.
If I Get Braces, How Long Do I Have To Wear Them?
The amount of time spent in braces will vary depending on the individual patient because every smile responds differently to a treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six and 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months.
Will My Braces Interfere With School Activities?
Activities such as playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. We are adamant about facial protection, so we provide a free mouthguard (one during your course of treatment) at no extra cost. Just let us know!