Life with Braces

No matter what age our patient is or how complicated their treatment is, one thing is for certain: getting braces is a big deal! This big life change comes with many questions, and can cause a little anxiety for people who are not familiar with them.

At Authentic Orthodontics, we understand. Adding these new appliances to your mouth can take some getting used to; however, once you know what to do, braces are a breeze!

To help you understand how to care for your braces and enjoy wearing them, we have outlined our guide to braces below. You can also visit our Patient Videos page, where we offer tips on wearing braces and things to watch out for during treatment.

Life with Braces: Authentic Orthodontics’ Guide

In the Calgary area, we are lucky to have some of the best things in life: the great outdoors, great dining, and a great community with plenty of things to do. We were named one of the World’s 10 Most Livable Cities for a reason!

Still, once you get braces, it can be a little worrisome to jump back into doing things as you normally would. You may be a little more careful or scale back on some of the things you love. Our team is here to remind you – you can still be yourself with braces!

In our guide, we help you see just how easy living with braces can be. Here are our best tips for wearing braces, while living your best life in Calgary!

Being Active with Braces

Many of our patients take advantage of the great outdoors and engaged sporting community we have in Calgary. From active skaters and hockey players in the winter to active hikers, runners, and rock climbers in the summer, we have plenty of patients who wonder how they can be active with their metal braces. Getting out and doing the things you love has never been easier and your braces won’t restrict you!

If you are into sports and physical activity, we do recommend a custom mouthguard. Not only does a mouthguard protect your teeth, but it also prevents any wires from poking your lips, tongue, or gums. Dr. Olsen or Dr. French can tell you more about mouthguards at your next appointment – just ask!

Eating Dos and Don’ts with Braces

With so many great restaurants and dishes to explore in the Calgary area, it can be hard to think of turning down a meal because of braces. If your child is already a picky eater, you might be worried about how braces will affect their diet, but rest assured they will be just fine!

Fortunately, there is a pretty short list of foods to avoid while wearing braces. These foods are:

  • Crunchy foods – Items like popcorn, ice, and chips can be a bit problematic with braces. Crunching into them can break off brackets or cause items to get stuck between wires and teeth!
  • Hard foods – Hard nuts and candies can sometimes break brackets off or can stick to appliances, making it difficult to clean. Sticky,
  • Chewy foods – Extra chewy items, such as fruit roll-ups, fruit snacks, gummy bears/Swedish Fish and even bagels can get caught in between the wires or stick to brackets - not to mention they can cause cavitites!
  • Bite-only foods – Corn on the cob, chicken legs, chicken wings (or other meats on the bone), or apples can all be problematic for brackets. Remember to cut them into bite size pieces!

Now that we have covered what you cannot eat, let’s get to the fun part: what you can eat! Luckily, if you stay away from the foods on the above list, you can enjoy almost anything else:

  • Dairy products – Cheese, milk items, and yogurt are all safe with braces; in fact, the added calcium is great for building up strong teeth!
  • Grains – Soft items like pasta, quinoa, and cooked rice are all easy to eat with braces.
  • Bread items – Soft breads are totally safe! Stock up on soft sandwich breads, soft tortillas, plain muffins and breads (no nuts or raisins inside), and pancakes.
  • Vegetables – Cooked vegetables are healthy and great for braces. Whip up some mashed potatoes, steamed carrots, cooked beans, avocado dishes, salads, and more!
  • Fruits – Enjoy soft fruits like bananas, orange slices, soft berries, and even applesauce. You can still enjoy your favorite apple, just remember to cut it into bite size pieces first!
  • Seafood – Cooked, flaky fish are easy to eat with braces. Some of our favorites are salmon, trout, tuna, or tilapia.
  • Meats – Remember, it is important to take meat off the bone and to enjoy in small bites. Avoid overcooked chicken or steak that can sometimes be too chewy or tough. Opt for items that include ground meat, like meatballs or chili, or lunch meats that are thinly sliced.
  • Sweets – Although many sticky, chewy, and hard sweets are on the do-not-eat list, there are still plenty you can have. Enjoy smooth ice creams, sorbets, milkshakes, puddings, and soft cakes. You can still have gum too but just make sure it’s sugar free!

Adjusting To Life With Braces

Just like anything that is new, there can be an adjustment period. When you are first getting used to your braces, there can be some minor aches and discomfort but thankfully it won’t last long!

A quick tip for relieving the pain is to swish with warm saltwater. Rinsing your mouth can alleviate some of the pressure and also help with any inflammation or irritations on your lips or cheeks. We will also provide you with wax allowing you to place it over the brackets that are bothering you. If it is still problematic, you can also take the normal dosage of pain reliever, as you would for a headache or other mild pains.

After check-up appointments where wires have been adjusted or new ones placed, you may also experience this same tenderness. Use all of the above methods to help with any discomfort you have experience. You can always call us if you are unsure of what to do.

Loose Teeth

It may feel like your teeth are loose during treatment. This is okay! Actually, this shows that your teeth are moving appropriately and are responding to the braces. However, if there is a problem with a seriously loose tooth, we will want to take a look at it.

Loose Wires and Bands

As we previously discussed, if braces are not cared for or guidelines for eating are not followed, brackets can be broken or wires bent. If either occur, you’ll need to call us for an appointment so we can get you taken care of.

If you have a pokey wire that is causing you discomfort, please call us so we can help you out! In the meantime, you can place a piece of wax on the wire to stop it from poking you.

Enjoying Life in Calgary – and Your Braces

With Authentic Orthodontics on your side, there is nothing stopping you from getting a great smile and enjoying all that life has to offer. Calgary is a great place to live because of our wonderful community, our festivals and events, and the people who make life fun.

Whether you experience some discomfort from a recent adjustment, have a pokey wire or need a question answered, we are here for you! Don’t miss out just because of your braces! You can always call us, and we can talk you through any issues you may be having.

Life with Braces, Made Easy with Authentic Orthodontics!

Much like the rest of Calgary, our office is filled with friendly faces who are here to help you. Along with this guide and our staff, you can have all of your braces questions answered with ease!

While the decision to get braces is a big one, the best decision you can make is to invest in yourself and your healthy smile! Our staff is here to talk you through your options and lead you on the right path towards a better smile!

Interested in visiting our Calgary office today for a complimentary consultation? Let’s get started.