I personally have never worn orthodontic braces, but I have had the experience of witnessing family members adapt to a life with braces. My wife and I are now looking at the prospect of having our son in braces for the second time in a little over two years. Hopefully now that he is a little older, things will go smoother – especially during meal time!
So what does an orthodontic patient need to adapt to while wearing braces? Food! Eating can become a complex affair, especially in the initial stages and after routine tightenings.
While wearing braces, one must avoid many basic food items. In support of our son, we abided by a family rule that if one person could not eat particular foods, then no one else in our household could either. While my son was wearing braces, I really missed movie theater popcorn, ice cream with added nuts, chewing gum, and caramel. There were also problematic times when my son was eating or drinking his favorite items as his braces made his food taste like metal.
Fortunately, there are many tricks and solutions that enable braces wearers to enjoy their meals, including several cookbooks, such as THE BRACES COOKBOOK 2 by Pamela Waterman. These guides will help you prepare delicious meals to accommodate the braces wearers in your household. They provide substitutes for hard and crunchy items that non-braces wearers will also enjoy. Additionally, over-the-counter pain medication taken prior to eating is another way to help make eating a more enjoyable event for the orthodontic patients in your family.
To sum it up, my advice to those of you about to gain a better smile through braces is to do your research into what you can and cannot eat and then learn the best way to prepare your favorite foods. This will help you adjust to wearing braces with a smile!