Life with braces

Foods to Avoid

This list of foods is only a guide. There are other foods that you may find in your diet which you must avoid eating whilst in orthodontic treatment!
Avoid eating these foods the whole time you are wearing braces...

  • Muesli bars and ALL other hard, sticky snack bars like LCM's and Rollups
  • Nuts (all nuts)
  • Lollies (all lollies)
  • Muesli and crunchy cereal (e.g. NutriGrain). To make sure it's not crunchy, soak it longer than usual in milk.
  • Crust on hard bread (e.g. italian bread), toast and pizza. Just eat the soft part of the bread, toast and pizza.
  • Biscuits (e.g. Tim Tams, Gingernuts, ANZAC and Vita Wheats, etc.). Only eat biscuits if you are dipping them into a hot drink, otherwise they are too hard for the braces!
  • Corn chips and tacos. These bigger chips can break the braces.
  • Pork crackling
  • Hard chocolate. Chocolate must be soft! Simply zap the chocolate in the microwave or leave it out in the sun until it softens.

Avoid biting into these foods the whole time you are wearing braces...

  • Fruit & raw vegetables (e.g. apple and raw carrot). These are both hard and crunchy, so all you have to do is cut these foods up into small pieces or grate them so that you are not biting into them, but are just chewing.
  • Stone fruits (e.g. Peaches). The flesh of these fruits is usually soft, but the stone isn't. Cut these fruits up into small pieces to avoid biting into the stone. (Bonus – you won't get the flesh of the peach stuck between your front teeth.)
  • Fruit with seeds or pips (e.g. mandarin, watermelon and olives). Take care when eating these sorts of fruits as you can't always find all of the pips or seeds!
  • Meat on the bone (e.g. chicken wings and T-bone steaks). You could accidentally contact the bone with your braces if you gnaw on the bones, so simply cut the meat off the bone to avoid this.
  • Corn on the cob. Cut the corn kernels off the cob to avoid biting into the cob.
  • Ice blocks, ice creams and ice cubes. Just suck on these!

Orthodontic adjustments

Braces generally have to be adjusted every 6 to 8 weeks during the course of treatment. It is important that you keep these adjustment appointments or else treatment can be delayed considerably.

Missing out on school

It is impossible to undertake a full course of orthodontic treatment without missing out on some schooling. Adjustment appointments are scheduled so that as many people as possible can be seen before and after school hours. This means that if you are due for one of our occasional longer appointments then it may need to be scheduled during the day. Missing out on school time for an orthodontic appointment is an accepted excuse, but only for the duration of the appointment (plus travel time).

If the orthodontist is running late

Please accept our apologies. We make every effort to avoid running late but not every complication can be foreseen. If we are too late for you, please ask to reschedule your appointment. Alternatively use the telephone to advise others, who are depending on you, that you have been delayed.

Discomfort

When you are first fitted with your braces, you may experience some pain or discomfort due to parts of the appliance rubbing against your gums and the side of your mouth.

There are various ways that you can manage the discomfort that your braces are causing and it’s likely that your orthodontist will run you through these methods at the time of treatment.

If the pain is general pressure pain and not an abrasion to your mouth or gum then you may want to chew sugar-free gum. This will stimulate your teeth and limit the amount of pain your are feeling. Most patients do not need to take any pain medication, but this would be your own personal decision.

If an ulcer or abrasion does develop because of rubbing then it’s best to use dental wax that you apply to the brace that’s causing the irritation and discomfort. Your orthodontist will provide you with this wax when your braces are put on. And of course wih any pain/irritation, good oral hygiene will always minimise the discomfort. So keep everything clean.

Maintaining oral hygiene

Here at Embrace Orthodontists our team are dedicated to ensuring you are educated about your treatment from the very beginning to the very end.

We will arrange an appointment for you with our treatment coordinator that will guide you through the do’s and don’ts of maintaining good oral hygiene with braces.

You will still brush your teeth, even with braces but there are other methods, which you are instructed to carry out to ensure that when your braces are removed that there isn’t any damage.

Loose wires

It’s not uncommon in the early days of treatment for a wire to come loose or detach from a bracket. This is rarely uncomfortable and can be left until the next appointment. However, if the wire is too annoying, place wax on the offending section to cover it and/call the office to arrange for one of our team to address the comfort.

Broken Brackets

A small percentage of patients will experience some form of damage to their braces during treatment. In an effort to reduce damage to a minimum, the strongest available orthodontic glue is used to fix braces to the teeth. However, it is also the patients responsibility to take adequate care to prevent damage. Certain foods (anything hard or crunchy) and habits (grinding/biting on pens etc) will break brackets. Braces do not just fall off. This means paying attention to what you eat and how you bite.

If you have any breakages please contact the office as soon as possible. We will enquire as to what is damaged and the level of discomfort, if any. We can then determine how urgent it is to have the damage repaired.

Playing sport with braces

You can definitely still play contact sport when being treated with braces. We do recommend though, that you wear a mouth guard to protect your teeth, lips, cheeks and braces from accidental knocks during sport. Embrace Orthodontists will provide you with a mouthguard if requested. 

Regular dental check-ups

It is of prime importance that all teeth are free from decay before orthodontic treatment is started. It is a wise procedure to make an appointment with your general dentist every six months, even during orthodontic treatment, to allow your general dentist to check for any new decay or potential problems. At the end of your active treatment it is essential that you continue the regular established visits to your dentist. 

 

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