Colin A. Mayers, DDS, MS, PC
1426 Hudson Road
Hillsdale, Michigan 49242
Phone: (517) 439-1461
What can you eat? Let's talk about what you shouldn't eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads including pizza crust and raw vegetables. Before long, you'll be able to bite a carrot again. But, you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces.
- Sticky and chewy foods: caramels, taffy, Now and Laters, licorice, Skittles, etc.
- Chewing gum: small pieces of sugarless gum are okay but NO bubble gum
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots, bagels, subs, pizza crust – cut them into small pieces
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils, fingernails, or ice) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
When you get your braces, you may feel general soreness in your mouth. Your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin, acetaminophen, or whatever you normally take for headaches or similar pain. The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!
Don't be alarmed if a wire or bracket comes loose. This happens occasionally. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office. If a ligature wire (the wire used to hold the archwire into the brackets) protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (such as the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax on the wire to reduce the annoyance.
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear, or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
It's more important than ever to brush at least twice per day and floss once per day when you have braces so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
Patients with braces are more susceptible to problems associated with soft drinks. These include decalcification, permanent markings on the teeth, and cavities. These are the result of the high sugar content and the acidity of the soft drinks in combination with the prolonged exposure of the teeth due to the slow sipping of the drinks. Note that energy drinks, sports drinks, and juices are just as bad. The best drink is water. The next best are sugar free drinks. Root beer has the lowest acidity of any of the soft drinks available.
If you play sports, it's important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.
During orthodontic treatment it is important to visit your family dentist regularly. For most patients, every 6 months is a good general rule. For some patients, particularly those with periodontal problems, more frequent visits are needed.
If an emergency arises that can’t wait until the next office day, Dr. Mayers can usually be contracted through his pager at 1-800-556-2560.