From eating with braces to brushing and flossing, we’re sharing everything you need to know about caring for your appliance. Rather get right to it? Schedule a complimentary consultation to start your smile journey today!
Eating With Braces
When you get your braces put on, your teeth can feel a little sensitive. Sticking with soft foods for the first few days will help manage any minor discomfort. Once you’re back to your normal diet, you can still eat most of the foods you love – with a few exceptions. Just be sure to cut or break food into bitesize pieces and chew with your back teeth.
Foods You Can Eat With Braces:
- Grains – soft-cooked rice, pasta, mac and cheese, couscous, barley
- Breads – sandwich bread, soft tortillas, soft rolls
- Meat/Poultry – soft-cooked chicken, turkey, pork, and beef, meatballs, meatloaf, lunch meats
- Seafood – salmon, tuna, crab cakes
- Plant-Based Proteins – soft-cooked lentils, tofu, veggie burgers, tempeh, protein shakes
- Diary and Dairy Alternatives – yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat milk, oat milk, soy milk, almond milk
- Vegetables – steamed and roasted veggies, mashed potatoes, beans
- Fruit – ripe bananas, oranges, applesauce, 100% fruit juice with no sugar added, ripe mango, smoothies
- Breakfast – oatmeal, eggs, cereal softened in milk, muffins without nuts
- Dessert – milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake, ice cream without nuts
Foods to Avoid With Braces:
- Hard Foods – nuts, hard candy
- Crunchy Foods – popcorn, ice, chips
- Sticky Foods – caramels, taffy, toffee, gummy candy, gum
- Chewy Foods – bagels, hard rolls, beef jerky, licorice
- Foods You Bite Into – corn on the cob (off the cob is okay), meat on the bone (take it off the bone), whole, raw apples and carrots
Brushing and Flossing With Braces
One of the benefits of LightForce braces is they’re easier to keep clean. Since the brackets conform to the contours of your teeth, plaque and food won’t get stuck under them, making you less susceptible to tooth decay, stains, and white spots.
That said, to keep your teeth and gums healthy during treatment, you will still need to put in a little extra effort when it comes to oral hygiene. This will help you avoid any delays, and allow your teeth to move into place as efficiently as possible.
How to Floss With Braces
Floss at least once a day using waxed dental floss and a floss threader. Alternatively, you can use a product like Super Floss or orthodontic floss picks in order to get under your braces wires. Here’s how to do it:
- Guide the pointed end of your floss threader or the stiff end of your Super Floss behind your braces wire. Pull it through until you can grip the dental floss.
- Wrap the floss around your pointer fingers and position it between two teeth.
- Slide the floss up and down the side of one tooth, getting under the gum line, and then up and down the side of the other tooth.
- Move on to the next pair of teeth and repeat the process until you’ve flossed all of your teeth, including around your back molars.
How to Brush Your Teeth With Braces
Brush your teeth in the morning, after meals and snacks, and before bed with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush for at least two full minutes each time. Here’s how:
- Using circular motions, brush the outside and inside surfaces of your teeth, including along the gumline.
- Brush the chewing surfaces and back of your front teeth using short, back-and-forth motions.
- Be sure to give every tooth some TLC, paying extra attention to the areas around your brackets.
- If you’re out and about and forget your toothbrush, rinse your mouth out really well with water after eating, and brush your teeth when you get home.
Playing Sports With Braces
Can you play sports with braces? Absolutely! However, to keep your teeth, mouth, and appliance safe, it’s important to wear a mouthguard during any physical activity that could result in a blow to the face. If you’re an athlete, let Dr. Piskai know so that she can help you choose the right mouthguard for braces.