proper etiquette for dining with braces

This is the place to post general questions and comments about all areas of orthodontic treatment. Before you post a question, use the forum's SEARCH tool to see if your question has already been answered!

New Members: YOU MUST MAKE A POST WITHIN 24 HOURS OF REGISTERING OR YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED. In other words, don't sign up unless you plan to actively participate in the message board immediately. This is necessary to keep out spammers and lurkers with bad intentions. Of course, you can read most forums on the board without registering.

DO NOT POST FULL-FACE PHOTOS or personal contact information on this website. We have had problems with people re-posting members' photos on fetish websites. Please only post photos of your teeth, not your whole face. Keep your email and your personal information private. Thank you.

Moderator: bbsadmin

Post Reply
Message
Author
almost50
Posts: 175
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:17 am
Location: Bay Area California

proper etiquette for dining with braces

#1 Post by almost50 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:51 pm

with the holidays I think this is an interesting topic, and I did a search with no results (but it might be my search technique)

We had our company holiday lunch today. A sit down dinner lasting about 2 hours or so. And it's somewhat a business lunch as well.

So what do you do? What would Miss Manners say?

I should and want to engage in conversation to some degree, but I know that I have massive amounts of food lodged between my braces and teeth. I can't excuse myself between every course to go to the bathroom and clean my teeth. I can't pull out a mirror and start checking my teeth in the middle of a meal in a business setting. I can't cover my mouth with my hand every time I speak.

My decision at the moment was to gulp water and hopefully inconspicuously slosh it around my teeth. Then I went and got a toothpick and tried to inadvertently dislodge some particles. I'm not trying to hide the fact that I have braces, but I don't really want to start talking and have people staring at me with massive gobs of food stuck between my front teeth and my braces. And I REALLY don't want to turn the conversation into my braces saga.

After my efforts, and no one at the lunch even making a single comment, I felt good. Only to go straight back to the office and see a huge piece of spinach trapped in my front top braces.

Any advice? I have a few more holiday engagements to deal with. Friends are easy and understanding. Parties are easy to mingle and disappear to fix. But formal dinners, I'm not sure I have the best solution for this.
Last edited by almost50 on Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Soworththeeffort
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:34 am

#2 Post by Soworththeeffort » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:14 pm

In your situation, I think you may want to try to avoid eating certain foods. You hit on one of the biggest offenders: spinach (along with any other type of lettuce, and/or leafy greens); nuts; turkey/chicken; rice (to name a few). You probably have a good idea of what types of foods are the most challenging in terms of clean up - as much of a drag as it may be, you may just want to cross them off your list for the evening. (And try to enjoy the company!)

roost22
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 6:19 am
Location: Michigan, Winter Wonderland

#3 Post by roost22 » Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:17 pm

This is a very good topic because all of us are probubly going to have to deal with this. I will greatly appreciate suggestions because I am newly braced and this has been the hardest thing for me to deal with. EATING, AND FOOD IN MY TEETH. I think I am lucky because my wife has had braces for a year now and she gives me pointers or I would probubly not go out of my house to eat. I am struggling with this eating thing.
lower metal brackets 12/3/2008, upper red,white and blue system12/29/08 , tx 12-16 months Image

Lisa65
Posts: 3469
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:12 pm

#4 Post by Lisa65 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:30 am

I do the tongue test at various points during the meal and have a glass of water handy for discreet swishing. If I'm at all concerned about "hangers-on" I'll nip to the bathroom afterwards for a quick check.

Unfortunately in the UK it's not considered polite to use a toothpick at table. When I visit my mum in Turkey, all restaurants provide them and their use is accepted as long as you do it discreetly. Makes eating out a whole lot easier.

User avatar
switchblades
Posts: 281
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:22 pm
Location: Canada

#5 Post by switchblades » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:36 am

I have yet to have too much trouble with this, I do a lot of tongue checks and usually manage to dislodge food with my tongue. I cut my food into pretty small bites and avoid anything too chewy or tough, as these foods get themselves wonderously STUCK. I also tend to not choose foods I need to bite into with my front teeth, sticking with knife-and-fork foods and avoiding the entire salad course if I can (this is tough, as salad is probably my favorite part! I leave these for home though).

I also keep a travel toothbrush (just a regular one works fine if you don't have a braces one, I've always used a regular toothbrush) and a small tube of toothpaste in my purse/backpack, so after the meal I can do a good cleaning without having to wait until I get home, or in case I find any problem spots :)
Initial Consult: August 22nd, 2008
Upper Arch Bracketed: October 22nd, 2008
Lower Arch Bracketed: December 3rd, 2008
Debraced: October 15th, 2009

My Story: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... sc&start=0

User avatar
Braces420
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:38 am
Location: Westchester, NY

#6 Post by Braces420 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:15 am

We just had our office Christmas party yesterday at a really fancy restaurant, formal wear is required. I was nervous because this is only day 4 in my braces, so I bring my mini cleaning kit, after every course I went to the bathroom and checked my teeth brushing 2 of 3 times while I was there.

It isn’t like you’re going to the bathroom and brushing your teeth. I went in there cheesed for the mirror, broke out the brush and hit up the troubled areas only once using the interdental . It takes all of about 30 seconds and after that there are no worries about food in the teeth.

Side note, 1/2 the office didn't know I got braces put in and even after going to the bathroom 3 times to brush they still had no idea.
Last edited by Braces420 on Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

descantus
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:36 am
Location: London, UK

#7 Post by descantus » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:15 am

I encountered this situation a few nights ago at my work's formal Christmas dinner and have a few suggestions. Didn't want to be checking in my mirror every moment, so I took aside a friendly colleague beforehand and asked him if he'd mind giving me a wink if he noticed anything visible in my braces from where he was sitting opposite. This worked really well and I was able to relax a bit more about it :D

I've also got hugely sensitive teeth right now and chewing is almost impossible without opening my mouth a little (not great with the CEO a few seats away) so I was raising my fingers to my mouth and looking down or away a little, sort of like a ponderous gesture, when I needed to do it. This was also working well until a big mouthed colleague spotted me and bellowed out "IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE FOOD? YOU LOOK LIKE YOU WANT TO SPIT IT OUT" :evil: :evil: :evil:
Follow my story:
http://dentalpurgatory.blogspot.com/

Image
[/url]

User avatar
switchblades
Posts: 281
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:22 pm
Location: Canada

#8 Post by switchblades » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:19 am

descantus wrote: This was also working well until a big mouthed colleague spotted me and bellowed out "IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE FOOD? YOU LOOK LIKE YOU WANT TO SPIT IT OUT" :evil: :evil: :evil:
Oh my lord, I would have been so mad! I probably would have made an unfriendly comment to the effect of "Unlike SOME people, I'm trying to be polite and keep my mouth CLOSED while I'm eating."

Not so great at a dinner function :lol:
Initial Consult: August 22nd, 2008
Upper Arch Bracketed: October 22nd, 2008
Lower Arch Bracketed: December 3rd, 2008
Debraced: October 15th, 2009

My Story: http://www.archwired.com/phpbb2/viewtop ... sc&start=0

sarah432blue
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:56 pm
Location: England

#9 Post by sarah432blue » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:21 am

Hi yes I am finding this a nightmare as well, I've only had mine on my two and a half weeks and just can't envisage a time when I could eat in public, lunch at work has been bad enough ad I've resorted to slim fast shakes just to keep me going. I have found chewing on the back teeth only makes it less visable but biting into sandwiches is a nightmare. I have also been carrying around ttothpicks and a toothbrush!

Lisa65
Posts: 3469
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 12:12 pm

#10 Post by Lisa65 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:50 pm

IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE FOOD? YOU LOOK LIKE YOU WANT TO SPIT IT OUT
"The food's fine - it's just the company I find hard to stomach" :lol:

allisun
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:44 am
Location: Austin, TX

#11 Post by allisun » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:01 pm

One of my worst formal eating experiences was at a country club with some donors (I work at a nonprofit). I'm a vegetarian and the only thing on the menu I could eat was a salad. All through the meeting/meal I was trying to dislodge food pieces while not looking like I was making faces. When I could, I finally excused myself to the restroom to do a quick rinse. There was a LOT of food up in my grill.

JUST as I was about to spit in the sink, this hoity-toity looking older woman walked in. Out of instinct I swallowed instead of spit... gross! She still looked at me like I was a fly in her soup.

I think all you can do is avoid stuff like salads, if you can!

Post Reply