1028 Centre Ave.
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Phone: (970) 490-6065
Fax: (970) 490-6067
Life with Braces
For Children and Adults | Why Braces? | Two-Phase Treatment | Life with Braces
Patient Care Videos | Comfort Adjustments | Types of Appliances | Braces Diagram
Ortho Dictionary | Retainers | Color Your Retainer
Eating with braces
What can you eat while you have braces? You can eat ALMOST anything as long as you're careful. Things that are really hard or really sticky need to be avoided because they will break the braces off your teeth or bend the archwires. This will slow down your treatment.
For the first day or so, your braces will feel weird and your teeth may fit differently. You may want to stick to softer foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. However, it is important that you do some chewing. Chewing brings oxygen to the teeth, which helps get rid of soreness caused by lactic acid. Great foods to have while you're getting used to your braces are scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, pasta (rotini is easier than spaghetti), casseroles, burritos, refried beans, and ice cream.
FOODS TO AVOID TO PREVENT BREAKING OFF YOUR BRACES:
- Sticky foods: caramels, bubble gum, Tootsie Rolls, Starbursts, licorice
- Hard foods: ice cubes, whole nuts, Jolly Ranchers, lollipops, toasted bagels, hard rolls or crusts, thin crispy crust pizza, Skittles candies
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, whole apples, whole carrots. We recommend cutting the corn off the cob, cutting apples into wedges, cutting carrots into sticks or curls.
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
When you get your braces adjusted, your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for a few days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) is more effective than Tylenol in relieving tooth discomfort. The lips, cheeks, and tongue also need a little while to get used to the braces. If needed, you can put wax on the braces if there is an area that is rubbing. We'll show you how!
LOOSENING OF TEETH:
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will tighten up again when orthodontic treatment is completed.
LOOSE BRACKET, BAND OR WIRE:
Don't be alarmed if a bracket, band or wire comes loose. This happens occasionally. A loose bracket will generally just slide along the wire. If an archwire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire back toward the teeth. If a small tiewire pokes out, push it toward the tooth with a blunt object. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office during office hours as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
CARE OF APPLIANCES:
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontic team. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. A Waterpik oral irrigator and an electric toothbrush are often helpful to use daily to keep your teeth clean and gums healthy.
Brushing: Step 1
Using a dry brush with a small amount of toothpaste place bristles where gums and teeth meet.
Brushing: Step 2
For 10 seconds on each tooth use circular, vibrating motions around the gum lines.
Brushing: Step 3
Every tooth of both arches should be brushed slowly.
Brushing: Step 4
Brush the lower teeth from the gum line up and the upper teeth from the gum line down. Brush the roof of your mouth and your tongue too!
Flossing: Step 1
Carefully thread unwaxed floss between braces and wire. You may find a floss threader helpful.
Flossing: Step 2
Carefully floss around the braces.
Flossing: Step 3
Carefully floss around the gum areas.
Flossing: Step 4
Carefully floss around each tooth.
If you play sports, it's important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.