Life with Braces
Once your braces are placed, life is going to be a little different. The changes you will experience are pretty mild, and you will adjust quickly. However, you should know what to expect before treatment begins.
You Won’t Be Able to Eat All Your Favorite Foods
Some will still be just fine, but others you will need to steer clear of until treatment is over. Why? Because many foods can damage your braces, and damaged braces are not effective at moving teeth. To get the best possible results from treatment, take care to avoid the following foods:
- 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
Reading what you cannot have can get you feeling a bit down, so to make you feel better about the prospect, here are just some of the 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
Just keep in mind that braces come off eventually, but the smile you achieve will last a lifetime.
You Will Experience Soreness
Many people worry that having braces will be painful. While outright pain should not occur, soreness is expected. This soreness is essentially just sensitivity to biting pressure and is worst right after the appliance is first placed. The initial bout of soreness lasts a few days and comes back for a few hours after each adjustment. Saltwater rinses can help reduce the tenderness, as can over-the-counter pain relievers.
Your Teeth Will Become Loose
This is a sensation that can be upsetting to some, as they think their teeth are falling out. Rest assured, that is not what is happening. Your teeth are held in place by ligaments. Moving the teeth means stretching those ligaments—and stretching those ligaments means your teeth will become loose. It may feel odd, but it is necessary to move the teeth. At the end of treatment, you will go into the retention phase and your teeth will firm up in place.
You Have to Be Careful When Playing Sports
You can still play sports with braces, but you do need a special mouthguard to do so safely. Even without braces, mouthguards should always be worn. But now with your appliance in place, you will need a specialized mouthguard that fits over the teeth and the braces, protecting each. If you play sports, let us know when we place the appliance so we can make the mouthguard for you.