Life With Braces

You may need to make a few adjustments after you begin wearing braces. Dr. Sherif Elhady will provide you with a guideline to help you make these changes after you begin treatment. If you have any questions about life with braces or if you want to set up an appointment with our orthodontists in Burke, Fairfax, Gainesville and Herndon, Virginia, call Trü Orthodontics at 703-440-0100.

Eating With Braces

Getting braces does not mean you have to completely change your lifestyle. While wearing braces, you can eat almost anything, but it is important to avoid eating foods that can damage your braces.

Foods to Avoid

  • Ice — Eating ice can damage both your teeth and your braces.
  • Snack Chips — Chips like Doritos, Cheetos and tortilla chips can cause damage to your braces.
  • Sticky Foods — Caramels and chewing gum can get stuck in your braces, causing damage.
  • Hard Foods — Much like ice, it is important to avoid foods that are hard and can break brackets, like nuts and hard candies.
  • Foods That Require Biting Into — Eating corn on the cob, apples or carrot sticks will be difficult and can also damage your braces.

Foods You Can Eat

  • Dairy — Soft cheese, pudding and milk are safe to consume.
  • Breads — Soft tortillas, pancakes and muffins without nuts are safe and easy to eat.
  • Grains — Pasta and soft-cooked rice are great options.
  • Meats and Poultry — Lunch meat, soft-cooked chicken and meatballs are good to eat with braces.
  • Seafood — Tuna, salmon and crab cakes are soft and easy to eat.
  • Vegetables — Mashed potatoes, spinach and beans can be eaten comfortably.
  • Fruits — Applesauce, bananas and fruit juice are healthy and great with braces.
  • Treats — Ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O and soft cakes are good treat options while wearing braces.

General Soreness

Soreness after getting braces is normal and temporary. You may notice soreness after having braces placed on your teeth and after getting an adjustment to your braces. In these instances, you may find that your teeth feel tender while eating for a few days. You can rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to lessen some of your discomfort. If your mouth is particularly tender, you may take a mild pain reliever.

The lips, cheeks and tongue often become irritated for a couple of weeks after getting braces. Once your mouth is accustomed to the feeling of wearing braces, this irritation will subside. General irritation from wires and brackets can be alleviated by putting wax on the braces.

Loosening of Teeth

While undergoing orthodontic treatment, it is normal to have some loosening of the teeth. Once your teeth are in their proper positions at the end of the treatment, that looseness will end.

Loose Wires and Bands

When your band or wire is loose, it is important that you call our office to set up an appointment to fix it. If the bracket is loose but still attached to the wire, leave it alone and avoid touching it. If it is irritating the inside of your mouth, place a little orthodontic wax on the area. If the bracket can be easily removed from the wire, place it in a plastic bag and bring it to your appointment.

If the wire is loose, try to place it back in its proper position with sterilized tweezers or needle nose pliers. If you cannot put the wire in a comfortable position, clip the wire with fingernail clippers behind the last tooth that it is fastened to.

Care of Appliances

In order to have a successful orthodontic treatment, it is important that you follow the instructions of the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move properly if you consistently maintain your directed care from the team. This can include consistently wearing the assigned rubber bands, headgear or other appliances.

Playing Sports

Wearing braces doesn’t mean you have to stop playing sports. If you play contact sports, it is recommended that you wear a sports mouth guard while playing. This can protect your mouth from many accidents that involve the face. If you have been hit in the face while playing, check your mouth and appliances immediately. In the case that your teeth have been loosened or the appliance has been damaged, call our office for an urgent appointment.