Braces 101

Eating with Braces

Taking Care of Your Braces (.pdf) Taking Care of Your Braces (.pdf)

What can you eat? Let's talk about what you shouldn't eat! If you've been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you'll be able to bite an apple again. But you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

Drinks to Avoid

  • Soda or other carbonated drinks (they contain acid that can dissolve the glue on the braces)

Brushing and Flossing

See a YouTube video on brushing with braces.

See a YouTube video on flossing with braces.

It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

Oral Hygiene - Proxy Brush Oral Hygiene - Flossing

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General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for several days. Drinking cold water may help since the special archwires are activated by heat. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Advil or Tylenol, can also reduce the discomfort.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this irritation.

Loosening of Teeth

This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new — corrected — positions.

Loose Wire or Band

Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Care of Appliances

To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

Regular Dental Appointments

During orthodontic treatment, we recommend that you visit your dentist for a check up and cleaning at least every six months.


If you play sports, it is important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of an accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone your general dentist at once for an appointment and notify us immediately. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.

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