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 entire orthodontic treatment.

Eating with Braces

While your braces are on you will need to take special care to avoid any foods that could damage your new appliances.  If something is hard, sticky or chewy, it may not be a good idea to eat it, as it could break you braces.  Remember, each time something breaks it could add one or more months onto your treatment time.  If something is broken or bothering you, please don't wait until your next appointment.  Give our office a call so we can schedule an appropriate repair appointment for you.

Foods to avoid with braces:

  • Hard Foods such as popcorun, nuts, cracker jacks, hard pizza crust or bagels, and ice
  • Hard candies such as jolly ranchers, jawbreakers, and lollipops
  • Chewy and sticky foods such as starburst, skittles, taffy, gummy bears, and caramels

Foods to eat with care:
We encourage you to eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables - you just need to adjust the way you eat them.

  • Hard fruits such as apples & pears should be cut into thin slices
  • Carrots and celery - cook or cut into thin strips
  • Corn on the cob - cut off the cob

Foods you CAN eat with braces:

  • Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, ice cream
  • 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, fruit juice
  • Treats — milkshakes, Jell-O, soft cake and cookies

Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances

When you first get your braces, you may notice that your teeth and mouth feel a little tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise your mouth will not be sore forever!  To relieve the pain you can take a pain reliever such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol for the first few days. It is also not uncommon for your lips, cheeks, and tongue to become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become used to the braces. You can put the wax you received in your start bag over the braces to lessen the tenderness.

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 you bite into something hard. 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.  If a loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax or sugarless gum over the broken wire to relieve the pain until you can get into the office.

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 and jaw can only move into their correct positions if you consistently wear the rubber bands, headgear, retainer, or other appliances prescribed by your doctor.

Playing Sports with Braces

Game, Set, Match — we have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it's recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliance. Let us know if you need a mouthguard and we will be happy to provide one for you.

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. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax.