Orthodontics is a discipline that concerns the displacement of body tissue by mechanical means. We know this sounds like quantum physics and is hard to understand.
In more down-to-earth words, Orthodontics is a branch of dental health that seeks to correct crooked teeth and jaw misalignments and enhance the functionality of the bite.
But still, we want to talk about the first definition emphasizing two concepts, “body tissue” and “mechanics,” that together conform to the term “biomechanics.”
So, when we refer to body tissue, we talk about “teeth, gums, and bone,” and by “mechanical” is the same as saying the “force” needed to move them.
Then, orthodontists apply force to teeth according to a plan. For instance, when an orthodontist uses too much pressure, nerves activate and communicate with the brain alerting the patient that something is wrong and producing a bit of discomfort.
Therefore, in this article, we will discuss the discomfort braces patients feel the days after braces installation and after adjustment appointments and how to deal with this situation effectively.
What’s It Like to Eat With Braces the Day You Get Them?
It hurts a little bit but is a tolerable sensation. Strain makes patients feel discomfort in the maxillary and mandible bones, which turns into tolerable pain at the bite.
The molesting sensation lasts for no longer than three days; after that, the discomfort recedes, and patients get accustomed to that almost imperceptible force that lessens with the passing days.
We can explain this from a different perspective. Orthodontists can only apply specific levels of force because exceeding them might damage the periodontal ligaments that work to support the teeth, produce the force for teeth sprouting, and transfer sensory information to the brain.
There are many essential aspects of the periodontal ligaments. Still, one of particular orthodontic relevance is its ability to regenerate and produce new tissue at exposure to controlled strain, and that is exactly what biomechanics is.
In more detail, a tooth is a rigid body. When orthodontists apply force with braces, brackets and wires, they move the tooth without affecting its structure. However, below the surface of the gums, a tooth sits on a bone.
From this perspective, it would be inadequate to move teeth because it might cause breaking friction between the tooth and the bone. However, the periodontal ligament’s fine layer between the tooth and the bone serves as a cushioning spring.
Also, as the teeth move, the periodontal ligament inflames, sending a message to the brain for help. Then it gets assistance with new bone tissue cells in place of the displaced periodontal ligaments.
So, orthodontists apply a controlled level of stress to move teeth that cause a little discomfort. However, an excessive strain (force) might break the elastic property of the ligaments, impeding them from regenerating.
Consequently, when a patient bites on the first days after braces installation or after adjustments, the pressure exerted from braces and biting increases discomfort, causing a slight pain in the jaw arches and teeth.
How Long After Getting Braces Can You Eat Solid Food?
We recommend that patients wait up to three days after the installation of orthodontic braces to eat solid food. Also, patients might need an extra couple of days, depending on the stress applied.
However, when a patient receives an adjustment, the strain might produce discomfort for no longer than a couple of days. After that, a patient might start eating solid foods.
What Not to Eat the First Week With Braces?
First, we must say, in short, what to eat during the first week with braces, and it all boils down to soft foods, blended foods, or soups.
When you get braces, biting produces discomfort, as we previously noted. So, here we include a short list of food categories you might want to avoid during this time:
We recommend patients avoid spicy seasonings like tabasco sauces or eating foods like jalapeños or any kind.
Orthodontic braces stress produces a slight inflammation of the gums. This inflammation might exacerbate when a patient ingests acidic foods or containing products like lemon.
After installing your braces, you will experience hypersensitivity, meaning that your teeth are more receptive to cold and might feel acute pain if eating ice cream or drinking ice-cold foods or drinks.
Also, we encourage our patients to avoid certain foods during the entire treatment; here, we include a short list:
Meat to the bone, or hard cuts of meat, vast chunks of food like a big piece of bread, raw vegetables like carrots, and whole fruits like apples or pears, pizza crusts.
You might choose to eat soft fruit, bite-sized pieces of soft meats, mashed potatoes, soft tortillas, and cooked vegetables.
All sorts of chips, pretzels, popcorn, hard taco shells
Chewy candies, chewing bubble gum, especially sugary-added gum.
Patient Caring and Warmhearted Sensitivity
Orthodontic treatment must serve purposes, one of which is to make our patients feel comfortable and happy.
So, at Silver Lake Orthodontics, we strive to provide a pleasant experience with orthodontic treatments minimizing tenderness or pain.
Schedule an appointment, and our kind team will make your orthodontic experience for a beautiful smile a one-of-a-kind.