Now that you have braces, you may have to adjust your regular eating habits slightly. Foods that are sticky (gum, taffy, skittles, fruit roll-ups), hard (jaw breakers, popcorn, ice, raw carrots) or high in sugar can damage your braces or cause food to stick in and around your appliances. Breaking up foods into smaller pieces can also make food easier to eat. Foods like spaghetti, broccoli, meats, apples, bread, etc. can be cut into smaller pieces to avoid getting caught in your braces or causing excess force against them. Additionally, having access to a toothbrush after meals can help ensure that caught food isn't left behind to bother your teeth and gums.
Braces may cause discomfort from time to time, especially the first day or two after an adjustment. Patients with sensitive teeth or who experience soreness with adjustments may want to consider taking a small amount of over-the-counter pain reliever an hour prior to their adjustment appointment. This will provide some relief for the patient.
Keeping your teeth clean will be even more important with braces. Wires, brackets and rubber bands can create additional pockets for food and bacteria to build up. Brushing twice a day with toothpaste and after each meal with a dry brush will help keep your teeth and braces clean. Flouride and mouthwash can also help kill any bacteria left behind. It's important to maintain regular teeth cleaning habits through-out the cycle of your braces to help avoid cavities, gum disease and discolored teeth.
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