Life with Braces

Food Choices

You’ve probably heard from your parents, friends, and even your orthodontist about the list of foods and beverages that you should avoid while wearing braces. Adhering to this helps prevent appliance breakage. While it may seem like you’re giving up a lot, we also want you to enjoy your braces experience, so here is a quick list of foods to avoid while wearing braces.

Foods to avoid while wearing braces:

  • Chewy foods — licorice, toffee
  • Crunchy foods — hard corn chips, pizza crust
  • Sticky foods — caramel candies, chewing gum, granola bars
  • Hard foods — nuts, hard candies, ice cubes, croutons
  • Foods that require forceful biting into — corn on the cob, raw apples, raw carrots (these can often be cut up into smaller pieces so that they may be eaten safely)

Comfort and Care

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 may last a few days. To relieve the discomfort, warm salt water rinses or basic over-the-counter pain relievers are usually helpful.

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 provide all of our patients with wax or silicone to put over the braces to cushion the tissues.

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 positions. Once your teeth have been repositioned, they will no longer feel loose.

Loose Wires and Brackets

A bracket may occasionally come loose from the tooth that it is adhered to, or a wire may break or come off a bracket and poke. If this happens, please contact us 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 eraser end of a pencil to carefully and gently push it down enough to prevent it from sticking into your cheek or cut it with a nail clipper. If the loose wire is causing irritation to your lips or cheeks, put wax, silicone or a wet cotton ball over the broken wire to relieve the pain. Please let us know so that we can help you.

Take Care of your Appliances

Damaged appliances can increase the length of your treatment process, so be sure to take good care of them. 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 orthodontist.

Playing Sports with Braces

We have great news for athletes! You can still play sports even while undergoing orthodontic treatment! If you do play sports, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and your appliances. Let Dr. Sperber and Dr. Simone know if you need help finding 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 or appliance damage, please contact our office, your family dentist, or hospital emergency room right away.