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

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.

Three types of foods to AVOID with braces:

1.  Drinks containing acid such as soda pop, lemonade and sports drinks - Gatorade

2.  Chewy, goowy foods - carmels, licorice, Jolly Ranchers

3.  Hard or crunchy foods - thick chips, hard candies, ice

  • Nuts are good for you but make sure they are slivered or in small pieces
  • The hulls in popcorn can sometimes cause sore gums
  • You can chew gum with braces IF: it is sugarless, small pieces, has Xylitol in it as a sweetener - this helps to neutralize the acids 
  • Yes, you can have a piece of chocolate.  Just make sure it doesn't have nuts or carmel in it.
  • Apples and raw veges are good for you just make sure they are sliced into smaller pieces.  Taking a big bite out of a whole apple can knock a brace off and bend a wire.  Bent wires move teeth in the wrong direction!

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, we recommend dissolving one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle this solution in your mouth for just a couple of minutes (do not swallow the saltwater).

If the pain is more severe and does not go away after rinsing, you can also try taking a pain reliever such as Tylenol.  Don't use Ibuprofen as it has been shown to inhibit bone formation.  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. We have included some soft wax that you can put over the braces to lessen the tenderness.  Just take a good size piece of wax and massage into a ball and work into and around the braces.  If you need more 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 end 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.  Or use a wire cutter or large nail cutter to clip off the offending part.

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.  If most every time you come in you have a broken bracket or wires that are bent and now teeth have moved then we often have to go back to a smaller wire and start again from there.  So instead of your time in braces being x numbers of months it could mean being in braces much longer. 

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. We have FREE mouthgards for you if you need them.  Just let your assistant know if you need one and they will help you find 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, bent wires or appliance damage, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort by applying wax or rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater.