How will braces change your lifestyle?

If you’re about to get braces soon you’re probably wondering how they will affect your life. You already know they’re going to straighten your teeth and give you a beautiful smile. But what about the day-to-day of living with braces? What are the new “little things” you’ll have to adjust to with braces? It’s true that living with braces is different, but the good news is the changes are small. When you know what to expect and have a plan, living with braces is easier than you think.

This article is going to prepare you for everything you need to know about living with braces. You’ll learn about the types of foods to avoid, how to take care of your braces, how braces impact activities you enjoy, and some other valuable information. So, let’s get started!

What Should You Expect During Your First Week of Dental Braces?

Welcome to the club! The first day you get braces it’s normal to feel some soreness. Slight discomfort is completely normal. Any soreness should disappear in a few days. It’s a good idea to stick to softer foods the first few days after getting braces if your teeth are sore.

What Foods Should I Avoid with Braces?

Let’s get to the most important question first. Food. You’re afraid you’ll no longer be able to enjoy your favorite foods when you have braces. This is mostly not true – unless your favorite food is hard caramel and Gummy Bears. If that’s the case, then, yeah you’re going to need to cut back on these sticky sugars for a bit – but there’s plenty of great-tasting and more healthy substitutes – we promise.

In general, you’ll understand that with braces you’ll want to stay away from hard, sticky, high-surgery foods. Hard foods can break, damage, or loosen wires and brackets. Sticky foods easily get caught or pull off brackets and wires.

What Foods Can I Eat with Braces?

Now that you have a better idea about the types of foods to avoid when you have braces, you’re probably dying to know what you can eat. Can you eat chips with braces? Can you eat a cheeseburger with braces? You can eat a lot of foods you love, sometimes by making some slight modifications to how you’re used to eating them. For example, if you want to eat a hamburger you can enjoy it with braces by simply cutting it into smaller pieces.

Types of food to avoid when wearing braces include: 

  • Chewy foods – licorice, bagels 
  • Crunchy foods – popcorn, ice 
  • Sticky foods – caramel candy, sugary chewing gum 
  • Hard foods – nuts, hard candy
  • Foods that require biting into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots

You can download our handy “No-No List” to keep with you or post nearby to help you remember!

The best types of food to eat when you have braces include:

  • Dairy – soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Bread – soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains – pasta, soft cooked rice 
  • Meats – soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats, small pieces of steak
  • Vegetables – mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits – applesauce, bananas, fruit smoothies 

Can I eat chips with braces?

Chips are one of the most popular snacks on the planet, so we understand this question. Everyone has their favorite chip. Although chips are not great for your health, indulging in a chip snack every now and then can be acceptable. When it comes to chips, you probably already know that not all chips are made the same. So depending on the type of chips you enjoy, there may be some wiggle room for you to occasionally eat chips while wearing braces.

What chips can you eat with braces? Chips that are baked and have a softer consistency (less crunch) are safer to eat. Just make sure to eat only one at a time.

Some examples include:

  • Pringles baked chips 
  • Cheese puffs 
  • Veggie sticks 
  • Kale chips 
  • Carrot chips 
  • Sweet potato fries

How Will Braces Impact Activities I Enjoy?

Braces will not affect any of your normal daily activities. If you’re an athlete the only change you’ll make is adding a mouthguard. You probably should be wearing a mouthguard anyway if you’re playing a contact sport. A mouthguard will protect your braces and your teeth. If you find yourself in a situation where your mouth is hit, be sure to immediately check your mouth and braces for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or brace damage, contact your dentist right away.

How to Take Care of Your Braces

Maintaining good dental hygiene while wearing braces is critical to a successful treatment. Make sure you brush your teeth at least three times per day, preferably after each meal. Pay extra close attention to the space around your braces and remove all traces of food. Use floss to clean between your teeth and a floss threader to remove food particles stuck between braces and wires. Make sure to stay on schedule for your dental cleanings during your treatment. Your orthodontist appointments are important. During each appointment, your orthodontist will ensure your braces are properly fitted and make any necessary adjustments.

What if Your Braces Come Loose?

Although your orthodontist will be making adjustments during your treatment, issues can occur between an adjustment – like a loose or broken wire or band. Typically eating the wrong types of food can lead to damaging your braces. Don’t pull or bend a broken wire or bracket, as you can cause more damage. Instead, place a piece of wet cotton or orthodontic wax over the sharp edge until you’re able to see a dentist or orthodontist.

Prepare an “On The Go” Kit

Everyone gets annoyed when they have something stuck in their teeth. When you have braces this happens more often, but it doesn’t mean you can’t always be prepared to take care of it. Make living with braces easy by putting together a kit that you (or your child) can take wherever you go. Buy a small cosmetic bag and keep the following items in it:

  • Orthodontic wax
  • Toothbrush 
  • Floss 
  • Proxabrush 
  • Lip balm or chapstick 
  • small mirror 
  • Advil and/or Tylenol

You could also pack a copy of our “No-No List” to help choose the best foods on the go!

Feel More Confident with Braces

Although living with braces forces you to make some minor life adjustments, always keep in mind the end goal. You’re going to have better oral health, and straighter, and more beautiful teeth. The small sacrifices you make to achieve a beautiful smile will be well worth it. And the plus side is, a lot of these “sacrifices” might just stick with you even after your treatment. Most of the things you can’t eat with braces, you shouldn’t be eating anyway. So braces can be a great excuse to clean up your diet and form new healthy diet habits.

Remember, braces are incredibly common now. Trying not to show your braces will only draw more attention to your mouth. So smile! When you show confidence, people respond.