Matthew J. Olmsted, DDS MS

Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics

Specializing in

Invisalign & Braces

       

       

2205 Oak Ridge Road, Suite CC * Oak Ridge, North Carolina 27310

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(336) 441-8301

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Life with Braces

Living with braces may take a little adjusting in the beginning, but before too long, you will be used to your appliance and know exactly what you can and cannot do. Your life changes in minor ways, including what you can and can’t eat, and feeling like you have loose teeth.

Discomfort From Braces

Your mouth and teeth can be a little uncomfortable and sore shortly after having your orthodontic appliance put in. This is normal and also a temporary sensation. One way to relieve the initial pain of having braces on is by gargling lukewarm water with a teaspoon of salt in it. Gargling for a couple of minutes can help provide some relief. Pain relief medications may also be taken as directed for soreness that has not yet gone away.

Loose Teeth or Wires

One of the oddest sensations to experience when you are wearing braces is feeling like your teeth are loose. This is also temporary and it is necessary in order to gently move your teeth into a new position. Once the teeth are in their final position, the loose feeling will go away. If it’s not the teeth that are loose, but the wires or rubber bands between the brackets, your orthodontist should be notified. They may need to be replaced so that there is no further damage to the appliance.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

To protect your braces from damage, you should be very careful about what you eat when wearing them. Avoid overly chewy foods that can get stuck in the braces, like hard bagels or licorice, crunchy foods like chips, ice and popcorn, hard foods such as hard candy or nuts, and sticky foods like caramel, toffee and gum. You will also want to avoid foods that need to be bit into, like carrots, corn on the cob and apples.


Examples of Sticky Foods to Avoid:

          Gum (sugar-free or regular)

     •     Licorice

     •     Sugar Daddies

     •     Toffee

     •     Tootsie Rolls

     •     Caramels

     •     Starburst

Examples of Hard Foods to Avoid:

     •     Ice

     •     Nuts

     •     Hard taco shells

     •     French bread crust/rolls

     •     Corn on the cob

     •     Apples and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)

     •     Bagels

     •     Chips

     •     Jolly Ranchers

     •     Pizza crust

     •     Uncooked carrots (unless cut)

Minimize Sugary Foods like:

          Cake

     •     Ice Cream

     •     Cookies

     •     Pie

     •     Candy


To protect your braces from damage, you should be very careful about what you eat when wearing them. Avoid overly chewy foods that can get stuck in the braces, like hard bagels or licorice, crunchy foods like chips, ice and popcorn, hard foods such as hard candy or nuts, and sticky foods like caramel, toffee and gum. You will also want to avoid foods that need to be bit into, like carrots, corn on the cob and apples.

What You Can Eat with Braces

While there are many things you will have to be careful about eating when you have braces, there are also a lot of recommended foods that won’t do any damage to your orthodontics. This includes dairy products and soft cheeses, bread products like muffins, tortillas and pancakes, pasta, rice and other grains, meat and poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables, with the exception of hard produce, and softer treats like ice cream, gelatin, milkshakes and soft cake or pastries.


Sports and Physical Activities

Adolescents that play contact sports or participate in other physical activities do need to practice caution when they have braces. Mouth guards can be made that fit over the teeth and over the braces to protect their teeth from possible trauma. This is the best way for kids to continue participating in the sports they enjoy, but not doing any damage to their braces. If there is an emergency or accident, kids are encouraged to have their orthodontic appliance looked it just in case, so repairs can be done right away.

Contact your orthodontist if anything with your braces feels painful or out of the ordinary.

Dr. Olmsted is committed to providing quality dental care to patients in Oak Ridge, Stokesdale, Colfax, Summerfield, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville.  If you would like a consultation, call us at 336-441-8301.