This handout is designed to give you information on what foods to avoid and how to eat different types of foods during the period you have orthodontic braces and wires. You will quickly realize that orthodontic treatment is not a punishment and that you don’t have to deprive yourself of everything you like. Following these instructions will allow you to go through treatment as quickly as possible and with a minimum of difficulty. Everytime a brace comes off or a wire breaks, treatment cannot proceed as planned and treatment time is lengthened. It is therefore necessary to notify your orthodontist so that everything can be corrected as soon as possible.
You are allowed to eat almost everything except chewing gum. You may ask yourself: « Why not gum – I like it and all my friends who wear braces chew it? » It is not because we want to deny you or bother you – chewing gum causes orthodontic wires to fatigue much more rapidly. If one wants to break a piece of metal without cutting it with pliers, an easy way is to continually bend the wire back and forth in the same spot. Chewing gum has this same effect on the wire. It can also remove ligatures which helps to hold the wire into the braces as well as cause wire to come out of the braces in the back. This can allow teeth to move in the wrong direction and prolong treatment.
Even though most other foods are permitted, special attention should be paid to how certain foods are eaten in order to avoid problems with your braces:
Certain musical instruments have mouthpieces which contact the teeth when played. Bring the mouthpiece with you so that we can see where it contacts your teeth or appliances. This will permit us to better advise you.
It is equally important to protect your appliances during sport activities. Certain sports require the wearing of a mouthguard; it is obvious that boxing is not permitted. You can swim with your appliances since they will not rust.
Be careful not to get your appliances caught in someone else’s sweater. It’s both bad for your braces and the sweater. If something breaks please advise us even if it happens only a few days before your visit and even if there is no pain or discomfort. This will allow us to schedule our time properly. Please help us help you.
Your teeth may be sensitive during 2 or 3 days following each appointment, especially at the beginning of treatment. This is unfortunately a normal consequence and it is suggested that you have a softer diet during that time. If the pain is too intense you may take an analgesic such as Tylenol, Advil, etc.
There is no reason to be concerned during your orthodontic treatment. If something seems strange to you, do not hesitate to call. We will be happy to answer any questions or solve any problems you may have.
The wax sticks which were given to you once the braces were placed only need to be used if your cheeks or lips become irritated. If this discomfort continues, please let us know so we can make the necessary adjustments. There is usually a period of adaptation during the first 7 to 10 days and the irritation (which often feels like a burning sensation on the lips and cheeks) will gradually disappear. During this period, try to avoid using the wax since this will allow your cheeks and lips to become more resistant; use the wax only if an ulceration forms on the tissues.