Eating With Braces

Braces can take some time to get used to. One of the most challenging and new experiences people have when they first get braces is eating. When you have done a task multiple times every day your entire life and suddenly have to change, it can become confusing!

The first few days after having braces, you may notice some soreness, however, it will get better! It is not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated as they get used to your braces. This can make eating difficult, though it will get better after a few days.

There are certain foods that you will need to stay away from when you have braces.
First, you need to avoid foods that are chewy such as bagels, licorice, pizza crusts, and french bread. Also, you shouldn’t eat crunchy food such as popcorn, chips, and hard candy. Sticky foods such as caramel candies, chewing gum, and gummy candies could get stuck in your braces, causing them to break. Hard foods such as nuts can also break your braces, but don’t worry, there are still many tasty foods out there that you are able to enjoy.

You will also need to be careful with things that you bite on, like corn on the cob, apples, and chicken wings, to name a few. We also suggest trying to avoid habits such as chewing on pens or ice cubes. Nail-biting, using chewing tobacco, and smoking are also strongly discouraged.

Hygiene Tips

Once you receive your braces, there is a learning curve to ensure that they stay healthy and clean. It may feel completely different to brush your teeth with them on, however it is important to continue doing so because you want your teeth to stay healthy while they are becoming straight.

Although you should still brush your teeth at least twice daily, you will need to brush them a little bit differently. After each meal or snack, you need to brush your teeth. If you are unable to brush them, make sure that you at least rinse your mouth out with water. Food will get stuck in your braces easier and that is why this step is important.

You will also want to use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft, round-bristle toothbrush. Your braces will likely wear out your toothbrush faster than you are used to, so make sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as it shows signs of wear. Just like when you did not have braces, make sure that you brush around your entire mouth and get every surface.

Flossing is especially important when you have braces. You will need to floss every night before you go to bed to ensure that you break up bacterial plaque and get rid of any food that is in your mouth from that day. We suggest that you use a floss threader which is a reusable tool that allows you to get underneath the wire very easily.