Traditional metal braces use small brackets that we affix to your teeth to hold thin wires in place. During orthodontic treatment, we adjust these wires little by little over time to guide the teeth into proper alignment.
It's normal to feel pressure on your teeth after we adjust your metal braces. This is a sign that the braces are moving your teeth as planned.
We recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce any temporary discomfort. Any discomfort should dissipate after a couple of days.
When you have dental braces, it is important to brush your teeth around four to five times a day. This means brushing after every meal if possible, to prevent food from getting stuck.
Your diet will directly affect the condition of your teeth during orthodontic treatment.
Here are some tips on what kinds of foods you should avoid and how to carefully enjoy some of your favorites.
At times, it is difficult to break and chew certain foods. Eating hard foods can be harmful because they can bend or break wires and even displace brackets. Avoid them entirely after you have had your wires changed since teeth are the most tender at this stage.
Tips for eating hard foods:
- Fruits are an essential part of a balanced diet. But you'll need to cut apples, pears, and peaches into small pieces before consuming.
- Do you enjoy almonds, cashews, or peanuts? Consider grinding them and adding them to cereals and yogurt.
- While eating chicken wings or ribs, remove the bones before consuming your meal. This prevents you from chewing on a bone and dislocating a bracket on accident.
- While eating corn, remove the kernels from the cob to help prevent damage to your braces.
- Avoid chewing on ice. You can suck on ice cubes but never bite them.
Sticky And Sweet Foods
Sticky foods can get stuck to your teeth and braces, and can even result in the braces getting pulled off. Sweet, sugary foods are high in sugar and their consumption can lead to tooth decay.
Tips for eating sticky and sweet foods:
- If you enjoy eating candy, try sucking on them instead of chewing them. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water to avoid sugar buildup on your teeth.
- Avoid chewing on gum. Gum can stick to braces and may be difficult to clean. It can also loosen the wires and brackets.
Request an Appointment With Us
It's never too late to achieve a healthier, more attractive smile! Our Grand Rapids dentist and his team would be more than happy to set up a custom treatment plan. To request an appointment, call Nichols Family Dentistry at (616) 333-8496.