Life with Braces

Now that you have your braces, how do you take care of them? It's important for you to know how to properly take care of your braces throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

Don't worry, you'll be eating popcorn and snacking on potato chips again in no time! However, before you can start enjoying some of the treats you love, you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Chewy foods — bagels, licorice
  • Crunchy foods — popcorn, chips, ice
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies
  • Foods that require biting into — corn on the cob, apples, carrots
  • Sugary beverages — sports drinks, sodas, fruit juices

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Dairy — cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks
  • Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts
  • Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice
  • Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats
  • Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes
  • Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans
  • Fruits — applesauce, bananas, grapes
  • Treats — ice cream without nuts or chocolate chips, smoothies, milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake, pie

Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and temporary. To relieve the discomfort, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and spit this solution in your mouth for a couple of minutes.

If the pain is more severe and is not manageable with rinsing, you can try taking a pain reliever. It is common for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated initially as they become used to the braces. This should resolve in about 1-2 weeks.  We would be happy to give you some wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness. If you need extra wax, please let us know.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth begin feeling a little loose, don't worry; this is normal! Your braces must first loosen your teeth to move them into the right position. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer be loose.

Loose Wires and Bands

The wires and bands on your braces may come loose. If this happens, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can check and repair your appliance. If any piece of your appliance comes off, be sure to save it and bring it to the office with you.

You can temporarily fix the loose wire by using the back of a spoon or the eraser of a pencil to carefully and gently push the wire back into place. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain.

Take Care of Your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take care of all your appliances. Your teeth can only move into their correct positions if you consistently care for your appliances.

Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports while undergoing orthodontic treatment. We will provide you with an appropriately-sized mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let your doctor know if you need help finding the right mouthguard for the best protection.

In case of a sports emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and appliance for damage. If you notice any loose teeth or appliance damage, please contact our office right away.