Life in Ortho
Congratulations on starting your journey to a spectacular smile! Orthodontic treatment can be quite a lifestyle change. Fortunately, most patients, regardless of their age, are quite adaptive to such a change. We are here to help you make your adjustment as easy as possible.
See your smile in a whole new way.
Whether wearing braces or Invisalign, you will very likely experience soreness and your teeth may feel tender when biting, especially during the first couple of days right after your orthodontic visit or once you switch to a new set of aligners. Cheeks and gums may also be irritated. To help ease the discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medicines (i.e. Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, if you have taken these medicines before) as well as rinse mouth with warm salt water. You can also place the wax provided to you over the poking spots to help temporarily eliminate the irritating sources.
With braces, you can still enjoy many of your favorite foods, just with some special consideration in mind. Avoid hard, sticky or chewy foods. Make friends with softer foods, especially right after your orthodontic visit. Remember, taking good care of your braces and wires without damaging them will help you stay on track, which means you will finish your treatment on time (or even earlier).
FOOD YOU CAN EAT WITH BRACES:
Dairy (ex. soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks)
Breads (ex. soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts)
Grains (ex. pasta, soft cooked rice)
Meats/poultry (ex. soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats)
Seafood (ex. tuna, salmon, crab cakes)
Vegetables (ex. mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans)
Fruits (ex. apple sauce, bananas, sliced fruits)
Treats (ex. ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake)
FOOD TO AVOID WITH BRACES:
Chewy foods (ex. bagels, licorice)
Crunchy foods (ex. popcorn, chips, ice)
Sticky foods (ex. caramel candies, chewing gum)
Hard foods (ex. nuts, hard candies)
Foods that require biting into (ex. corn on the cob, apples, carrots)
We recommend cutting these first
With aligners, you can eat pretty much anything. Just be sure to take your aligners out before you eat, and clean your teeth thoroughly before putting your aligner back in.
WHAT ABOUT DRINKS?
Whether with braces or aligners, water and milk are your best choice of drinks. Beverages like coffee, tea (and red wine for our adult patients) can stain teeth. Avoid sugar containing and carbonated drinks, such as soda, sport/ energy drinks, flavored bubbly water, juice etc. These drinks contain acids and/or sugar that dissolve tooth enamel, and can lead to “white spots” and cavities! You can learn more in this article. While you can drink cool water with your aligner in, be sure to remove your aligners when drinking everything else. Both for braces and aligners, be sure to brush right away after drinking. If brushing is not possible, rinse thoroughly with water.
Oral Hygiene Care
Keeping your teeth clean is of paramount important during your orthodontic treatment. Don’t let bad oral hygiene compromise your ultimate beautiful smile! Check out the following videos to learn how to take care of your teeth and braces (or aligners) during treatment.
FOR METAL BRACES:
CARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR
You can still play active sports with braces. It’s recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliance. We are here to help you find the right mouthguard for the best protection. In case of a sports emergency, immediately check your mouth and appliances for any damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance, contact our office right away! You may also use wax to cover discomfort spots while waiting to be seen.