If you or your child is getting braces, you’ve probably had a massive amount of information thrown your way. What to eat, how to eat, how to brush, and so much more. It can be overwhelming, especially since you have to change the way you eat and care for you or your kiddo’s teeth.
Worry not! Like riding a bicycle, learning to live with braces is easy to learn and difficult to forget. Once you get it down, you’ll be a brace-face pro in no time at all.
What to eat when starting out with braces
When your braces are first applied you may feel some soreness in your mouth. Because of this, it’s important to stick to soft foods such as:- Bananas
- Scrambled eggs
- Mac and Cheese
- Soft vegetables
- Soft cheeses
- Mashed potatoes
And you especially shouldn’t forget ice cream. Just be careful as your teeth may have an increased sensitivity to the cold!
As your mouth adapts to having braces, you can introduce other foods such as chewier meats and breads. Be sure to keep the aforementioned list handy, as you may have to get your braces tightened periodically. This will bring back that initial soreness!
Foods to ban with braces
Now for the not-so-fun part. Sadly, having braces means potentially making some changes to your diet. Crunchy, hard, and sticky foods are damaging to the braces and wires on your teeth, meaning you’ll have to kick them to the curb for the time being. Some examples of food to be shunned are:
- Hard Candy
- Taffy or other sticky candies
- Hard chips and pretzels
- Crunchy vegetables
Eating these foods can cause issues for your braces. Sticky foods tend to get impossibly stuck in the wires, and crunchy foods can dislocate or even break your braces. It’s important to stick to the approved foods in order to get the most out of your braces, and to ensure you don’t have to visit the orthodontist more than necessary.
Toothy Tip: Sometimes, even if you keep to the approved food list, things can get lodged in your braces. The AutoBrush dental flossers have a convenient pick to help you keep your braces clean.
How to Get Food Out of Your Braces
The real challenge when having braces is keeping them clean. You’ll find that things are always getting stuck under the wires, brackets, and rubber bands on your braces. Keeping them clean takes a bit more work than normal, but isn’t too hard to learn.
Let’s break it up into a list:
Rinse your mouth with water before brushing, as this will loosen up any particles stuck in your braces. Begin brushing at the gum line at a 45 degree angle, starting on top of the bracket, then moving to the bottom of the bracket. Take your time with each tooth to ensure you’re getting an even clean.
Braces can wear down toothbrushes faster than normal, so be sure to replace your toothbrush when it starts to show signs of wear and tear.
Also, since your teeth will be very sore in the beginning, it’s recommended to use a softer toothbrush at first.
Flossing with braces is a bit more challenging than usual, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be a pro in no time at all. Since you can’t floss from the top of your teeth anymore with the wire in the way, you’ll have to go under the wire.
Using a floss threader enables you to thread the floss through your teeth. Parents, you may have to step in and help your child learn how to do this. Or, if they’re under 7 years old, it might be best to do it for them.
Rinsing with antiseptic mouthwashes or peroxide is a good way to keep your mouth clean and disinfected as braces can cause small cuts in the mouth. It’s recommended to do this step after brushing to remove leftover loosened particles that may remain in the braces.
Taking care of your retainer after having braces is equally as important as caring for your braces. Your retainer will maintain the nice straight teeth you worked so hard for, so be sure to keep it clean, disinfected, and wear it nightly to ensure your teeth don’t readjust back to their original state. It’s recommended to soak it in antibacterial mouthwash when not in use.
As we discussed earlier, maintaining a good braces-friendly diet is important to getting the best result you can. Refer to the list above for good foods to eat. Also, be sure to avoid foods with a high acidic content as they may have adverse effects on your braces. Foods like bananas are excellent with braces. Oranges, on the other hand, are not.
Toothy Tip: The AutoBrush Pro Kids toothbrush gives a 360 degree clean, meaning your child can keep their braces clean easily!
Braces are a big step in anyone’s life, especially adolescents. Keeping your child’s braces clean will set them up for success in the future, as not maintaining them can lead to permanent staining when their brackets are removed.
If you have any questions, consult your orthodontist for best practices with braces. They’ll be able to help you keep a list of foods you can eat with braces, and show you how to floss and brush the best you can.