Life with Braces

life-with-braces.jpgThe first few days with braces can be accompanied with tenderness and soreness. This is perfectly normal, but the good news is that it gets better usually within 2 to 3 days the general soreness will subside. You can do the following to help with discomfort, or refer to our emergency page for more information:

  • Take Advil, Aleve or Motrin when needed for pain. Children under 12 should take liquid Advil or Motrin; over 12 should take Advil or Aleve as directed.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • We will supply you with a bite wafer when your braces are put on, biting down lightly and applying pressure on the wafer for a few seconds will help relieve the discomfort.
  • If your lips, cheeks or tongue become irritated as they become used to the braces swish with a warm salt water rinse (1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water.)

Taking especially good care of your teeth during orthodontic treatment will keep your teeth and gums in top condition and ensure that your orthodontic treatment will deliver the healthiest smile possible. When your braces come off you'll see that your extra efforts have been rewarded with a healthy, great-looking smile that will last a lifetime. Proper dental care will take a little extra time and effort, but it's well worth it and will help you enjoy the best possible results from your orthodontic treatment. The following guides will help you learn how to care properly for your braces.

The Do's and Don'ts of Eating With Braces


Food that is soft, not difficult to chew and is not included on the don't eat list is most likely ok to eat with braces. Be sure to only consume soft foods the first few days you are in braces, then gradually add in normal food that is on the list below.

  • Soft foods such as soups, gumbo, pudding, rice pudding, yogurt, mashed potatoes, mac n' cheese, etc.
  • Soft or tender meat such as turkey, meatloaf, burgers, tender chicken, sandwich meat, etc. Wait 4-5 days after getting your braces put on to eat meats.
  • Soft fruits and vegetables, including bananas, berries, mango, tomatoes, avocados, etc. Also consider making smoothies with fruits and vegetables! Don't forget, if you want to eat apples, carrots, celery or any other hard vegetable or fruit be sure to cut it into smaller pieces before consuming.
  • Pasta and grains, including all kinds of pasta, rice, quinoa, orzo, ravioli, lasagna, spaghetti, soft breads, etc.

Foods that can damage your braces or appliances should be avoided at all times. Consuming the following can cause treatment time to be delayed, regress progress and damage teeth.

  • Sticky or hard candy such as Taffy, caramels, Now and Laters, Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, Roman Candy, Caramel Apples, Candy Apples, Lollipops, etc.
  • Popcorn or nuts, including peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Ribs or meat on the bone. Be sure to cut meat off the bone before eating.
  • Whole fruits and vegetables like corn on the cob should be cut off the cob, while apple, carrots, and celery should all be cut into slices.
  • Soda or sugary drinks can cause permanent damage to your teeth while your braces are on.
  • Chewing gum, ice, pens or pencils. All of these can cause appliances or brackets to fall off or become damaged.

Visiting the Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment

It is very important that you continue to visit your family dentist once every six months, even during your orthodontic treatment, for teeth cleanings and routine dental checkups. If extra dental care is needed, we will be happy to coordinate with your family dentist to make sure that you are receiving the best care possible.


Athletes and Musicians

You can still play sports during your treatment, but remember to protect your teeth with an orthodontic friendly mouth guard, just as you would normally. If you are involved in an accident during athletic activity, check your braces and your mouth immediately. If the braces appear damaged or the teeth loosened, call us immediately.

If you play an instrument, you may find it a little challenging to become adjusted to playing with your braces. It is normal to have some difficulty with proper lip position and sores can develop too. Liberal use of wax and warm saltwater rinses will help your lips and cheeks toughen.



Something sticking out? Loose or broken? Need to find out what to do in the case of an emergency? Refer to our Emergency Care page to learn how to relieve discomfort and what to do in the case of an emergency.