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Anxiety about food restrictions

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:04 am
by marathon
I've been preparing for braces by reading up about food restrictions, and it's pretty concerning. I've elected to do the clear brackets on the top, which means I also have to worry about staining! I love curry, and that seems to be a big no-no for clear braces. Obviously no more popcorn...and I eat popcorn probably 3x a week or so. I love snacking on various of crackers/chips and dips, but it sounds like I can't do that anymore either. My favorite vegetable? Beets, which will stain the clear brackets. Especially now with Covid, the small pleasures in my life mostly revolve around food and it's so depressing that I can't eat so many things! Also I'm not eating out much lately because of the pandemic, but I usually like to eat out. But I'm a pescatarian and also somewhat lactose intolerant, so at some restaurants, I'm already limited in what I can order on the menu. What if my one option was a beet salad?? What about travel, once that's possible again? Is that going to be really difficult, with such limited food options? Do I really need to give up coffee? I've been drinking coffee every day for the past 20 years and I can't fathom giving it up.

Even as I'm writing this, I see "FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS" flashing it my head LOL. I know I'm lucky to be able to afford to fix my teeth and have an abundance of food! But I have a sinking feeling when I look at the lists of foods to avoid, and I'd appreciate any reassurances/tips/words of wisdom.

Re: Anxiety about food restrictions

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:43 pm
by GlitterNShine
Aw! That sucks! That was one of the reasons I went with the shiny metal ones. I love food too! Right now I can't eat anything (Day 3).

Re: Anxiety about food restrictions

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:19 pm
by marathon
Is that just from the pain? I still think the clear ones are worth it but this might just become the worst thing about this experience...

Re: Anxiety about food restrictions

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:22 pm
by GlitterNShine
Just discomfort. I really didn't have pain. I watched both of my kids in so much pain when they got them on (the same day!) and I was expecting that. The orthodontist was also different so maybe he did it differently. Who knows. But... I have been eating really soft stuff (mashed potatoes, meatballs, ice cream) and that's it. Can't bite with my front teeth or it does hurt. Advil helps.

As for the clear ones, if you feel more comfortable with those then do it. I didn't care if I had a mouth full of metal. I teach elementary school and the kids are going to be so surprised that I look like some of them LOL. I also drink a lot of coffee and eat tomato based products and I didn't want to deal with potential staining.

Re: Anxiety about food restrictions

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:18 am
by djspeece
A lot of us have ignored the restrictions, and lived to talk about it :lol: . See the thread "Confess Your Orthodontic Sins," one of my favorites. I had the so-called clear ceramic braces, and they really don't stain as you might imagine. The thing that stains are the ligatures (used with metal braces) and power chains. Some of the restrictions make sense in terms of discomfort chewing, but you'll find that most foods are just fine, especially with the use of common sense. Some people worry about coffee staining, and drink it via a straw which frankly makes no sense to me since it not really bypassing your mouth. I can't think of any food I purposely avoided, except perhaps gooey caramel which is not really a favorite of mine anyway. I continued to drink coffee just as I did before braces.
You'll probably find that you have the most discomfort after a visit to the orthodontist for adjustments and/or new powerchains. This is short-lived, and after a few days you'll be back to feeling good. During those times I avoided foods that I found difficult to chew, but otherwise it was open season. Don't stress too much about it. Some people avoid eating salads in public, but I ate them. I had a work colleague comment, Dan, I'm your friend and I don't care if you have a little lettuce in your braces!"
Best of luck to you!

Re: Anxiety about food restrictions

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:18 pm
by marathon
Thank you for the feedback! I just got my braces on today, and so far I don't have any pain but I haven't attempted to eat anything yet. (Thinking about dinner now...)

Here's the GOOD NEWS (for now): For whatever reason, the ligatures were not put on today. (Maybe because I need to get teeth extractions done before finishing everything up?) And as you mentioned dj, they confirmed that it's not the brackets that stain, it's the bands. So for now, I still have to worry about eating crunchy/sticky/etc foods but I DON'T have to worry about staining until I get the bands put in! There will be curry in my near future. Also, I found some suggestions online that since the bands get changed, I should just plan on eating any curry/beets/etc. the day before the appointments and then I'll have fresh new ones anyway. So that all makes me feel a little better.

Re: Anxiety about food restrictions

Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:55 am
by Speck
I didn't ask about food restrictions and the ortho didn't say, so it has for the most part been the usual diet all along. Early in treatment and following a clinic visit, discomfort would tend to dictate the kinds of foods I could tolerate. I've had elastomer chains for months and had opted for silver color up to the last appointment at such time I chose clear; it has been several weeks since and, so far, no staining. Wishing you smooth treatment!

Re: Anxiety about food restrictions

Posted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:35 am
by Carno
I wouldn't worry too much about staining, and even then, it's the bands, not the brackets, which get changed out every ortho visit. I've been drinking coffee, eating red sauces, drinking red wine, etc and it's been totally fine. My ortho didn't even recommend against those things, the paperwork he gave me about orthodontic care all revolved around the hard or softness of the food. Avoid things that can pop the brackets off (hard foods), and things that will get stuck in the braces (caramel, gummy bears, etc).

That being said, I do make sure to rinse my mouth often with water while eating or drinking things that might stain, and brush right after eating. I don't let anything sit on my braces that might stain them. Like you, I have clear brackets on top.