Life With Braces

Eating With Braces

At first you may find that eating with braces can be challenging. If you’ve just gotten braces on or have recently had an adjustment you may experience little discomfort while chewing. Eating the right foods is the best way to avoid soreness. Here are a few simple steps to follow for the best experience.Making small changes in your diet can go a long way. Our orthodontists recommend cutting your food into small pieces. Eating softer foods like yogurts, soups and puddings is a fantastic option, especially for the day of or after your adjustment.

When it comes to meat, foods like ribs and steak may not be an option as they can be difficult to chew and can often get caught in your wires and brackets. This doesn’t mean cutting out meat altogether. Seafood, deli meats and sushi are great options to keep your protein up. Here in Jacksonville most of us love pulled pork and this BBQ favorite may quickly become your favorite foods while wearing braces.


Foods To Avoid With Braces

One of the worst things that can happen when wearing braces is having bacteria build up under your brackets and break down the calcium in your teeth. This is why it’s important to minimize starches and sugars as they attract bacteria. If you’re not careful with your snack choices you can end up with permanent white marks on your teeth once your braces are removed.It’s a good idea to avoid sugary and sticky foods when wearing braces. Caramels and gums can get stuck on your brackets and wires, pulling on your braces when you open and close your mouth, causing additional strain. Hard candies or those with nuts run the extra risk of breaking off your brackets. 200-bad-candy-braces

Foods You Can Eat With Braces

Here’s the best part, many of your favorite foods are great to eat with braces. Here is a quick list to reference:

  • Cereal in milk
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Crackers
  • Cream corn
  • Eggs
  • French fries
  • Ice cream
  • Milkshakes
  • Pasta
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Pudding
  • Soft fruit
  • Soft pretzels
  • Soup
  • Steamed vegetables
  • String cheese
  • Yogurt

Playing Sports With Braces

At Beaches Orthodontics we treat many of the area’s leading young athletes. The good news is that you can continue to participate in any sport while wearing braces. Most sports inherently carry the danger of being hit in the mouth, either by another player, a ball, stick or other piece of sports equipment. We recommend wearing a mouth guard specially designed to fit comfortably over your braces and protect the soft tissues of your mouth. We are more than happy to provide you with a mouth guard. 200-kid-with-mouth-guard

Keeping Your Braces Clean

  • Keep up on your regular cleanings with your hygienist. Our office will schedule a “wires out” appointment where you will come to our office, have your wires removed and head to your hygienist for your cleaning. Once your cleaning is complete, come back to our office to have your wires replaced and finish your adjustment.
  • Brush after every meal. While this is always a best practice, it is especially important when wearing braces. Brackets and wires can be big food traps which can lead to a build-up of bacteria and plaque. Brushing your teeth after every meal is the best way to keep your mouth it’s healthiest.
  • Salt water gargling is the best way to disinfect your mouth while wearing braces. Any cuts or irritations caused by your braces will heal much more quickly this way.
  • Minimize sugar as much as possible while being treated by an orthodontist. If you can, cut it completely from your diet until your braces are off.
  • The best way to sustain great oral health is by getting the vitamins and minerals you need from eating lots of fruits and fiber.
  • Mixing a bit of baking soda with water into a paste and rubbing it on your gums will both disinfect and soothe your mouth.
  • Flossing! The day you get your braces we will give you floss threaders and show you how to floss with braces. It takes a little time and extra effort, but it is highly recommended.
  • The famous “Christmas tree brush!” Once you get your braces on, part of your take-home package from us will include a tiny cone-shaped brush. This is your new best friend. The tip fits easily between your brackets and wires and dislodges stuck food much better than a conventional brush. Be sure to replace this brush every month or two for a clean experience.

Loose Teeth

Most people know that braces work by gradually moving your teeth into the desired position. What many don’t think about is that the gums, bone and other tissues are moving as well. As these tissues move a noticeable loosening of the teeth is very normal. Don’t worry; your teeth aren’t going to fall out. If you are concerned about a tooth being too loose, ask your orthodontist during your checkup. 200-loose-teeth

Soreness Caused From Braces and Appliances

While modern orthodontics has come a long way since its early years, soreness and discomfort have not yet been completely eliminated. The soreness peaks 24 hours after the braces are placed and tapers off after 5 to 7 days. This is typical after each orthodontic adjustment. There are several simple steps you can take to help prevent the pain that can accompany braces.

  • A pain reliever (Tylenol or Advil) does minimize the soreness. We recommend taking the pain reliever one hour prior to your orthodontic appointment and again prior to bedtime.
  • Take more time when eating and be sure to chew slowly and carefully. Try softer foods that require minimal chewing, or cutting food intro pieces rather than biting it.
  • To treat any sores in your mouth as a result of the braces, use the salt rinses and wax provided by our office. Regularly rinsing your mouth with table salt and warm water both sanitizes and soothes sore teeth. Orthodontic wax applied over any metal that irritates your mouth will help expedite the healing process. This will give the inside of your mouth time to become used to your new appliances.

Emergency Info – Loose Wires and Bands

Even patients who follow all of our recommendations can occasionally have brackets break, wires pop out of places or other appliances loosen. Your brackets are made of metal or ceramic and are attached to your teeth using a composite resin (tooth glue), This resin is similar to the tooth-colored material used in dental fillings. When you chew hard or sticky food, the resin bond can weaken and break, causing your bracket to come off. Some patients have their braces anchored to the back molars with metal rings called bands. Like the other appliances in your mouth, sticky or hard foods can loosen the bands.

Whether its a poking wire, loose band, or broken bracket, your next step is to contact our office. Bring any loose appliances with you to your appointment for Dr. Patel to re-attach. For any major orthodontic emergencies (sports injuries or trauma), please call our office at 904-241-2471 and listen for the on-call number to speak with Dr. Patel or staff.



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