Life with Braces

Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! If you’ve been wanting to drop a few pounds, your first week with braces will offer you the perfect chance to do so. For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Although after this time, you should be able to return to a mostly normal diet, you’ll still need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid

  • Chewy foods, such as bagels, hard rolls, and licorice
  • Crunchy foods, such as popcorn, ice, and chips
  • Sticky foods, such as caramels and gum
  • Hard foods, such as nuts and candy
  • Foods you have to bite into, such as corn on the cob, apples, and carrots
  • Also, avoid chewing on hard items(such as pens, pencils or fingernails), which can damage the braces and cause your treatment to take longer.

General Soreness

When your braces are first placed, you may feel general soreness in your mouth. Additionally, your teeth may be tender to biting pressure for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Advil, Tylenol or whatever you normally take for headaches or similar pain. 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. We’ll show you how!

Loosening of Teeth

Loose teeth can 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 once they’ve moved into their new, correct positions.

Care of Appliances

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


It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces; you need your teeth and gums to be healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not maintain good oral hygiene may require more frequent visits to our office for professional cleanings. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

Loose Wire or Band

Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If a wire protrudes and irritates your mouth, use a blunt instrument (the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil, for example) and carefully push it under the arch wire. Simply get it out of the way, if you can! If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the sensation. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment so that we can check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to our office.

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